Baseball team bolsters Challenger community

Aidan Murtagh ’20, News Editor

Following the Catholic spirit, the Riordan Varsity Baseball team uses every Sunday to give back to the less fortunate. The team is a part of the Challenger Program, in which members help kids who have mental and physical disabilities play baseball and have fun.

The league takes place either on Treasure Island or at McCoppin Field in San Francisco, where kids and teenagers are able to play baseball when they otherwise could not have done so.

The team became involved with the Challenger Program five years ago as a way to give back to the community, and it was a perfect way to help out special needs children and teenagers while enjoying the game of baseball.

Members of the team have expressed a lot of positive feedback regarding participating in the Challenger Program. Senior Dillon Ruggiero said, “The best part of working with these kids is the smiles on their faces. When you see them running around the bases or fielding a ground ball, it’s just a heartwarming experience when you get to see their smile.”

Randy Aberourette ’20 said, “It’s an amazing feeling knowing that the game of baseball makes the kids happy and I really enjoy being there.”

Not only is the Challenger Program a way to help out children with special needs, but it also serves as a way for members of the baseball team to be humbled and grateful for what they have.

Head Coach Brandon Ramsey explained, “Ultimately, it really allows you to maybe be a little bit humble about your own personal abilities, what you have, what God’s given you, and I think it really allows these kids to find the joy in what they have.”

Julian Castillo ’19 expressed the same gratitude, as he said, “Seeing kids who can’t walk or speak smiling just because they get to run around and play ball is a very humbling experience and helps us realize the power of the game we play and how it’s bigger than all of us.”