Written By: Caleb Stayton | @Stayton34
Junior First Baseman | Ball State Baseball
Member of Ball State Sports Link
Hello everybody back home! This is junior first baseman Caleb Stayton.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity that we have to take this trip to the Dominican Republic. Today was our first opportunity to play against the Dominican competition.
After getting a much-needed night’s rest, we headed out bright and early to the ball field. We were taking on the New York Mets Academy. The complex had beautiful fields and everything was in great shape. It was an absolute gorgeous day for baseball! The temperature was in the high 80s, which is a little warmer than back home.
It was one of those days where you just want to be at the field all day because everything is perfect for the great game of baseball. We did something different than usual for today’s game. We played a split-squad double-header.
After we took batting practice and infield all together, half the guys left at went to play a game on a different field. I didn’t really know what to expect since we were playing guys who have already signed with a professional team. What I realized is baseball is the same everywhere you go, no matter what language you speak, and no matter who you are playing.
Once we realized this, we calmed down and played good Cardinal baseball just like we do back home at Ball Diamond. We performed great as a team and as individuals! It was a blast and I am really looking forward to our games tomorrow.
After our games today, we were able to go to an orphanage nearby. This was a great way to interact with people from this culture and to realize how fortunate we are. We didn’t have much to give them except some candy, but we did have what these kids needed the most – love and attention.
We got off the bus and immediately were swarmed by kids and began playing all kinds of games. Some of the guys started a baseball game, while others played volleyball, football, soccer, and many other games. I think I can speak for all of us that this was very rewarding not only to the children, but more to us. It pushed some of us out of our comfort zone, but we would all do it again if we had the chance.
Although it was a little sad to not be with family over this holiday, I think we were able to understand true thankfulness over this Thanksgiving, which is what it is all about. This will be a Thanksgiving I will remember for the rest of my life!