(T-G Photo by Jimmy Jones)
So it was a special night for coach Chris Thomas' squad when another Bedford County kid that shared the same dream, and is now a star reliever for the Colorado Rockies, visited the team's recent workout.
Rex Brothers not only took the time to sit down and talk with the team but made sure that he spent time with each individual, signed autographs, and stuck around for pictures.
It was not only an inspiring session with a simple message that left a definite impression on the aspiring youngsters, it was also a perfect personification of the path taken by the former Shelbyville Eagle star from an early age, into college at David Lipscomb, and to the major leagues.
"Rex is awesome," second baseman Dustin Thomas said. "What I got the most from Rex was to work hard, never give up, to bring it every game and to always remember that we are playing a game."
"Rex inspired me by saying that you can't put your head down, just because you may throw a ball wrong," shortstop Noah Farmer said. "You have to get back on the mound and bring another fastball right at him and see if he can hit it."
Perhaps most inspiring was that Brothers continues to contribute to our community in so many ways when so many are seeking his time and resources in the limited time he has between seasons.
"It just goes to show what kind of young man that Rex is," Young Gun Manager Chris Thomas said. "The time that he took with these kids is something that they will take with them the rest of their lives.
"The message that he gave, hard work, perseverance and to be good students and citizens reinforces what we all want for our kids. It was an honor to watch his interaction with the kids and to see them absorb his message like a sponge."
Brothers finished the week by attending a Night with Rex, sponsored by the Times-Gazette, at Shelbyville Central High School where thousands of dollars was raised to help build a field house.
I personally got outbid for two game worn jerseys signed by the lefthander, but was happy to see the joy on the faces of those who won the auction.
In any event, you can bet that we are going to see a definite increase in young men wearing Colorado Rockies merchandise in the very near future.
I know I will be sporting a new hat soon.
-- Jimmy Jones is a Times-Gazette sports writer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.