Most time competitive sports is about winning, but a local organization displayed an act of sportsmanship that gave you a good feeling and put things in proper perspective.
On Saturday, the Beaver Valley Red Baseball under-14 travel organization took on the Flood City Organization from Johnstown at the Pitt University Showcase tournament. This was just another summer baseball game for most players and coaches on these two teams but for one player it was much more than that.
Flood City’s Weston Mazey made his return to the baseball field, which is something no one thought was possible, considering the health scare he went through. Mazey, the son of West Virginia University baseball coach Randy Mazey, was injured in a serious baseball collision back in March, that left him with a fractured skull and a traumatic brain injury. At first, the doctors feared these injuries could be life-threatening.
However, Mazey and his family remained optimistic and determined to beat the negative prognosis. Mazey had to first work on standing up and walking again, then after that progressed well, was able to slowly start training to make a return to the sport he loves. After months of hard work and dedication to getting better, Mazey made his return to the baseball field on Saturday.
The Beaver Valley Red team was aware of what Mazey had gone through and had something special planned for him prior to this first at-bat. As he approached the batters box for his first at-bat, the BV Red team, led by their manager Nate Nery, stopped the game and with their hats removed, had everyone member of their team approach Mazey in the batters box and shook his hand as a sign of respect for what he had to go through to be able to return.
In one of the best gestures of sportsmanship ever, the Beaver Valley travel organization shaking Wammer’s hand in his first at bat coming off of his brain injury. Thanks guys! Special moment. pic.twitter.com/9OkKi79wwc
— Coach Randy Mazey (@CoachMazey) June 26, 2021
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Nery about what his team did to honor Mazey and why he felt it was so important to do so.
“A parent, Heather Hatfield, brought it up to me, because her son also played travel hockey in Morgantown with Weston and knew the story,” said Nery. “I guess he just got the clearance to return on Friday to finally be able to play again. His mother really detailed his recovery and after watching the video it was 100% the right thing to do because it was truly an inspiring story. It was a tragic accident that took place at batting practice which is just crazy. As a father of three myself, it was eye-opening because it could of really happened to anyone. All my players were on board with me to do this and show him respect and show him that we’re proud of what you’ve done.”
It’s hard to not get chills watching that video and it was obviously a lot more special to actually be on the field watching it in person. I asked Nery what he felt as he led his players up for handshakes and then taking the moment in on the field.
“100% emotional. I was very happy for the child, happy for his parents,” he said. “As a father myself, I couldn’t imagine having to go through this and just happy and proud of his accomplishment.
“At Beaver Valley, we’re committed to doing things the right way. Sometimes the wins and losses aren’t the biggest thing, sometimes other things are more important and this was definitely one of them. Sometime in sports, a lot of coaches lose site of that but in the end it’s about respect for the game and realizing what we’re competing for and why we’re really out there. I was glad Weston was able to play, happy that he was cleared and happy he was able to make this comeback. It’s amazing.”
That first hit….❤️ pic.twitter.com/9dbLPkK4vP
— Amanda Ross Mazey (@AmandaMazey) June 26, 2021
It’s only fitting for this fairytale story that Weston Mazey was able to get a hit in his return to the field.