Legends On Deck

Baseball Helps With The Healing Process

Normally I don’t write anything that is not totally related to baseball on my site, but I felt that a recent event was big enough to at least share about it and how I feel baseball has become one of the healing factors.

On January 9th, an EF2 Tornado hit my city of Cape Coral and our home took a direct hit. It wasn’t just the winds, it was something huge that slammed into our home causing extensive structural damage that deemed our home unlivable for now.


On that Saturday evening, I was home alone watching TV and making myself dinner. I had just arrived from our little league tryouts and my oldest son was supposed to be with me, but my wife, thankfully, decided to take our boys to get haircuts, hence leaving me home alone for a few hours. Then instead of returning home, she decided to visit with family, which was merely less than five minutes away. That decision would prove to be something we will forever be grateful for.

Around 6:50 pm, I can recall watching part of the news, as it reported that a strong storm was going to blow through the Cape and as we have become accustomed to, strong thunderstorms are the norm in SW Florida. But the only part of the report that was missing was that a Tornado was headed our way.

About 6:58 pm, I was in the kitchen cooking when our dog started to bark alerting me to the front door. I could hear the winds pick up and then the door started to shake violently. That scared me so I backed away, heading back towards the kitchen to turn off the stove.  But before I could get within five feet of the kitchen, our house shook even worse than the front door and the lights shut off, and in a split second I found myself across the other side of the house and seeking shelter.

I remember calling out to our dog to follow me and I swore he was hiding with me in the closet. I hung on to that door knob for dear life and just prayed that the noise would stop and that I wouldn’t get sucked out of the house.  I heard the infamous sound of a freight train, which has been reported by so many other people who have been in similar situations. I heard what sounded like an explosion, I heard windows blow out and I heard a loud banging noise, and it felt as if it lasted for more than 20 minutes, but in reality it was not more than a minute before it moved on.

When I finally was able to open the door and peek out, thanking God that I was still alive, it was totally dark, but somehow I made my way to the kitchen and found my phone unscathed. At that moment I looked up and was shocked to see the outside of the house, where the kitchen wall was supposed to be.

I returned back to the closet and dialed 911, but it was busy; dialed my wife but went to voice mail; then called my buddy Billy and he answered and I shared what happened and he said he was on his way to me. My wife, who had been trying to reach me, finally got through and I just told her, “Babe, the kitchen is gone, the wall is gone.” Then I realized that I just needed to get out of the house because I thought it would cave in on me.


I found our puppy hiding in our bedroom, which thankfully did not sustain any damage, and we went outside to get in the car and leave, but at that moment I noticed that our entire neighborhood was devastated and I wasn’t going anywhere. But thank God, our neighbors from across the street were making their way around their home with flashlights and I called out to them and found refuge in their home.

I know without a doubt that God carried me to safety at the moment of impact, because never in my life had I ever moved that fast. It was just a split second before everything turned tragic and my life changed forever.

On that dreadful night many miracles also happened, and many things that you can’t explain, as with my dad, who had just moved into his home in Tampa, he shared with me that he felt someone grabbing his side and holding on at the very same time that the Tornado hit my home and I was holding onto the door for dear life.

But now, as we wait for our home to be fixed so we are able to return, baseball has taken center stage.

It has always been there for healing for so many others, as it was after 9/11 and after the Boston Marathon bombing and so many other times when a mere game would bring joy back into the lives of suffering minds.

And now as my family and I heal, we turn our attention to baseball and it allows us to take our minds off of what we will be facing in the next few months.

Little league baseball has started, and coaching my boys has become even more priceless than I ever thought it was. Spring Training starts in a few weeks and that will keep me pre-occupied, especially with our site and sharing all the great baseball news.

The memories of that night are forever embedded in my mind and in time I know I will heal, but as I believe that God heals, I also know that the game of baseball has had some great healing powers, and now I get to experience some of it.

As tragic as the last month has been, baseball will do its job by helping to heal the pain. Through it all, through all the upcoming unknowns, my family will be ok, our house will get fixed, we will get past this, and our neighborhood will thrive again, but in the end we will have a greater appreciation for what we have now in our lives and be able to grab a hold of it and enjoy it all. I especially am thankful to be able to lean on my faith and still watch my boys play the game I love.

Baseball is back, but this time, it’s more than just a game. (Big smile on my face).


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