Central Arizona pitchers enjoy philanthropy

A grinning Tyler Brady, left, holds a baseball given Tuesday to the residents of Mesa Developmental Service’s Olson Avenue home that has been autographed by players from the Central Arizona College baseball team. Players pictured are, from left, Ryan Downs, Jordan Lane, Jordan Lewis, Zach Dando and Greg Ryan.

Tyler Brady’s face lit up as he was handed the autographed baseball.

“Oh my God,” he said happily, much to the delight of the six Central Arizona College baseball players gathered around him.

Brady was only one of the eight Mesa Developmental Services group home residents the Vaqueros pitchers met Tuesday afternoon in Orchard Mesa.

“We try to do things for the community since we’re a community college,” Vaqueros head coach Jon Wente said. The Central Arizona players do other philanthropic events throughout the year, including collecting canned goods and visiting schools, he added.

The players visited with the residents for about an hour and were given tours by some of their fans.

Resident Allen Berschauer excitedly guided the players toward his Western-themed bedroom.

“I need more pictures,” he said, as the players gazed at his John Wayne poster and other Western-inspired decorations.

The pitchers moved back toward the main living area and stood around Berschauer’s wheelchair for a quick photograph to add to his room decor.

“You get to see the other side of life,” freshman Jordan Lane said of the experience.

“God gives us the talent to play and we get the chance to do this,” sophomore Jordan Lewis added, “Everyone can love baseball.”

Resident Paul Baldwin was excited to meet the players, even sporting his Colorado Rockies jersey for the event.

“I’ve been to every game,” he told them.

“Who do you want to win?” sophomore Zach Dando asked him.

“You guys!” Baldwin answered enthusiastically.

The Vaqueros face Navarro (Texas) College at 7:30 tonight.


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