CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Mercy Hospital Jefferson and Leader Publications are teaming up once again to help local cancer patients and honor the memory of two local sportswriters.
Now in its sixth season, the annual event will once again be played at West City Park in Festus with the same goal of remembering to local icons and raising funds to help cancer patients in our community. The American Legion baseball teams from Festus and Imperial will be playing in memory of Warren Hayes, the long-time area sports writer and editor for Leader Publications, and Dennis Barnidge, the editor and writer for the local News Democrat and Jefferson County Journals.
Both men lost battles with cancer at too young an age, but in the years they did have here, they touched the lives of thousands of student athletes, their coaches, schools and families with wit, wisdom and an unfailing dedication to youth sports.
The Strikeout Cancer Game will feature Festus Post 253 and Rock Memorial Post 283 varsity teams playing a district rivalry game at about 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, at the Butch Lucas Field in West City Park. A junior varsity game between Festus 253 and Rock Memorial is scheduled at 1 p.m.
The varsity game will be preceded by presentation of the colors by the American Legion Post 253 Color Guard, an acknowledgment of cancer survivors, and a ceremonial first pitch.
Players will be wearing special Strikeout Cancer jerseys for the game, and a limited supply of additional shirts will be for sale at the game. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted and a 50/50 raffle is planned. All proceeds benefit cancer education efforts and resources for cancer patients at Mercy Jefferson.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.