“THE ONLY THING THAT NEVER CHANGES IS THAT EVERYTHING CHANGES” – Louis L’Amour
Ole Louie was right, that’s for sure. That includes Pride Baseball. After having a team in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League for the past 6 years, and winning the league championship or playoff championship or both every year, the times they are a’changin!
The original plan for the 2021 Pride was to have their regular team in the SCBL and to add a second team that would be an International Mission Team. Covid had different plans. The Pride found out the end of October that they would be losing a $40,000 donation for 2021 due to Covid considerations. Then, again because of Covid, they weren’t able to have their annual end of year banquet, which cost an additional $20,000. This $60,000 loss meant they couldn’t have two teams, and would need some additional help just so they could still have one team. After praying about it, the Pride Board of Directors decided to keep the mission team and not to have the SCBL team.
Pride Founder and Head Coach Joe Hudak had mixed emotions about the decision. “We will certainly miss playing in the SCBL” he shared. “It’s been a great 6 years, and we hope to rejoin the league next summer.” At the same time, he was looking forward to the mission team. “I’m so excited about our first ever Pride Baseball International Mission Team,” he explained. “It’s going to be an awesome summer for our players!”
The teams itinerary is set. The players will arrive in Rock Hill on June 12. They will practice and get to know each other for a few days, and then play games in the Carolinas until June 30. The Pride will play these games against collegiate teams from the Coastal Plains League and the SCBL. On July 1, they will fly to the Dominican Republic where they will play and do ministry for 2 weeks. After returning home on July 15, the boys will have a couple of well-deserved off days. They will fly to Alaska on July 19 for the final leg of the summer tour. They will be there until August 1, again playing games and doing ministry. The team will arrive back in Rock Hill on August 2. The players will have their exit interviews and head home.
Hudak is looking forward to the impact the summer will have on his Pride players. “This is going to be a life-changing trip for our boys,” he explained. “We have seen each year the effect that just one week of mission work in the DR has had. I believe this summer will have an even greater impact on our guys.”
Hudak and the players have to raise $107,000 for the summer. If you would like to support this amazing experience, just click on the donate button at the top of this page. You will find how you can make a tax-deductible gift online or by check.