Willingham helps Bobcats
PHIL CAMPBELL — The life of a Major League Baseball player is a busy one. Between travel across the nation and playing a 162-game schedule from April through September, there is not much off time.
The All-Star Game is not only a way to recognize the best players in the game, but also gives players a three-day break to get out of the grind of the season and relax with their families.
Oakland A’s left fielder Josh Willingham spent part of his All-Star break in Phil Campbell and Hackleburg to help the tornado ravaged communities.
“To come to Phil Campbell knowing he has many things he could have more fun doing speaks for his character,” said Phil Campbell baseball coach Alf Welborn. “It is a great example of giving back to the community.”
Willingham spent time earlier this week visiting with members of the Phil Campbell baseball team before making a generous donation to the program that will help with the completion of its new field.
In addition to the donation, Willingham is raising money through his non-profit organization, The Josh Willingham Foundation, to build storm shelters in Phil Campbell and Hackleburg.
“I appreciate him coming through for us,” said Phil Campbell assistant coach Ron Harris.
Harris said Willingham has helped out the Bobcats often, including coming to winter camps to speak with kids about hitting. He said Willingham’s willingness to take time from his donation to the program would help out quite a bit.
“We’re in the process of trying to get on a new field. That got put on hold because we ran out of money,” Harris said. “We were going to do fundraisers, but the tornado hit in April so we’re not doing fundraising now.”
Welborn said the donation would help the team build new batting cages, a new pitcher’s mound and dugouts.
“We couldn’t have done it without him,” Welborn said. “He made a generous contribution to help.”