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Former West County Bulldogs will have the opportunity to relive old glory days on the baseball field next Saturday in an alumni fundraiser baseball game.

The alumni game started as an idea to raise money for uniforms for the Leadwood’s little league baseball team, the Sharks.

The team's coach, Grant Becker, said that they had planned to have an alumni game where players from odd graduating years would play even graduating year players. After posting the idea on social media, Becker received a much larger response than he had anticipated.

Becker then decided to transform what he thought was going to be a simple fundraiser into a larger event. “I thought, why don't we do something more than just an event to raise money for uniforms,” the coach said. “We all went to West County and grew up in the area so I wanted to do something to give back to this community.”

Becker went on to say that he wanted to teach the young players that it's more than just playing baseball. It’s about giving back to the community. He wanted to take lessons like teamwork and leadership learned while playing baseball and apply those lessons in their everyday lives. The little league players will be working as a team to help out with various aspects of the event.

A large portion of the proceeds from this event will go towards the West County school’s Backpack Program, which helps students who may not have adequate access to food at home by sending them home with meal items in their backpacks.

“We want the little league players to know that their efforts are not only helping their team but also their community and fellow students,” said Becker.

At the event they're going to be fundraising through the sale of concessions, barbecue, t-shirts, and a 50/50 drawing with the players helping out hands-on throughout the game day. They'll also have a DJ playing music during the event.

Becker expects a large turnout and said that alumni players from all over are coming together for this event.

Becker said this is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the players helping the community. When they first got started in the fall of last year, some of the players helped bring Thanksgiving meals to those in need at places like residential care facilities and the local women’s shelter.

As Becker explained, the intent of doing things like this throughout the year is to instill the concepts of being a good steward of society to the players at a young age.

The alumni game was originally scheduled for May 4 but, due to weather concerns it has been moved to May 18 at 10 a.m.

The team would like to invite anyone in the community to come out and see some of their favorite players from the past take the field once again.

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Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3628, or at bradford@dailyjournalonline.com.

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