Lufkin Panthers baseball team spreads holiday cheer at Memorial Hospital

By Nick James - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Christmas comes to Lufkin a week early Thurday morning for some patients at Memorial Hospital. The Panther baseball team was clutch today in making people smile while passing out autograph baseballs and hats.  Today's trip to the hospital was part of a community outreach program.

"Last year we got a lot of support from the community in our state run and we just wanted to give back to some of the people that supported us.  It's getting kind of close to Christmas time and a lot of people are lonely here at the hospital.  We just wanted to show them our love shows them that we are here to support them to," Pitcher, first baseman Brian Roy said.

For marketing director Yana Ogletree she was extremely happy to see the pack make their presence felt.

"You know home is where you should be during the holidays but unfortunately some patients have to be in the hospital.  So therefore we like to have the community groups come out such as the Lufkin Panther baseball team it's such a pleasure for them to have them visit our patients it means so much to them just the guys going into their rooms we had patients just light up when they saw them."

For some of the kids they met a former player that played some little league back in the day, but also met a Hall of Famer in his days in the military while stationed in Guam.

"I met a kid who was the drummer in the band that I played in when I was in Guam his name was Willie Mays from Kentucky." Grover Pendarland, 85 year old Crockett native said.

Lufkin baseball coach Clay Berry entering his sixth season as the Packs coach and state runners up from last season elaborates more on how this all came about.

"We like to get our kids out in the community and try to do a little community service so we brought them up here to the hospital saw a lot if joy in the guys eyes and the women's eyes as we went into the rooms you know that what it's all about and our guys know that it's not just about baseball but about sharing the gifts they have to others," Coach Berry said.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.