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A group of military veterans taking on local celebrities in a game of slow-pitch softball. That was the scene Labor Day morning as the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team took on a team of local celebrities in an exhibition game. The Warriors, made up of a group of Marine and Army veterans that have lost a limb in combat, pounded the celebs 17-6, but it wasn’t the score that was important.

“It’s just so cool to be out here on the field at Louisville Slugger Field,” WAVE 3 sports director Kent Taylor said. “Playing against these guys is such an inspiration and it’s a great day to spend Labor Day.”

The Warriors put on a show for the crowd gathered at Slugger Field, crushing celebrity pitcher Rick Bozich for a multitude of long bombs as well sharp singles. Bozich, an avid fan of the Chicago White Sox, gave up all 17 runs the Warriors scored.

“This is a thrill,” said Bozich, “I get choked up thinking about how inspiring they are. They’ve been through it, they’ve served our country and now they find joy in playing sports.”

Despite their setbacks, the players for the Wounded Warriors are an inspiration to all who watch them play, including baseball players themselves.

“This is the second time I’ve been able to watch these guys and it just puts it all into perspective,” Louisville Bats catcher Corky Miller said. “We (the Bats) are out there grinding it out every day but it’s not even close to what they’ve gone through.”

In a memorable cap to the ballgame, Miller stepped to the plate for the Warriors in the fifth inning and crushed a run-scoring triple much to the delight of everyone at Slugger Field.

“That’s probably the most nervous I’ve been all year,” the fan favorite catcher said. “I didn’t want to pop it up and let them down.”

The Warriors, who tour all over the country raising awareness and money for the Wounded Warrior Project, have become quite good at blistering their competition. All of the players were athletes before or during their duty and haven’t let their injuries get in the way.

But for the Warriors, being able to come out and inspire people and encourage patriotism is what it’s all about.

“This is like being a major leaguer,” says Tom Carlo of the Marines. “There’s no excuses. We’re always trying to win and inspire people to do more.”

“Any time you get to play on a baseball field, it’s a dream come true,” says Todd Reed, Army veteran. “It’s wonderful to see the patriotism and the support we get. We try to do our best to come out show people you can still be active despite a traumatic injury.”

For more information on, or to donate to, the Wounded Warrior Project, you can visit their web-site. The Amputee Softball Team has their own web-site as well that features a profile of each player as well as more information on the team.

Slideshow: 
Robert McCardle
Nate Lindsey and Greg Reynolds
Tom Carlo
Nate Lindsey and Matias Ferreira
Celebs head coach Terry Miners
Matt Kinsey
Celeb pitcher Rick Bozich
Celeb catcher Kent Taylor with Tom Carlo at the plate
Bats catcher Corky Miller admiring the Wounded Warriors
Keith Farmer showing off his ball skills
Greg Reynolds
Tim Horton crossing the plate
Rick Bozich at the plate
Keith Farmer getting a crack at the bat
Nate Lindsey
The team looks on
Todd Reed about to crush the ball
Todd Reed (left) is congratulated by Matt Kinsey upon scoring
Kyle Earl
True Heroes
The team celebrates their victory
Celebrities
She said Yes!
With this bat
Matt Kinsey proposes to his girlfriend, Tina, after the game
Corky with his new friend Landis, a quadruple amputee from E-Town
The teams together
Scoreboard
Good game again
Good game
Corky talks with Tom Reed
Corky Miller stepping into the box
Keith Kaiser about to die after an in-the-park home run
Kent Taylor gets pumped about scoring a run
Kendrick Haskins in the box
Josh Wege
Landis, a quadruple amputee from E-Town got to run the bases in the Buddy Bat Derby at the Bats' game that night

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About Kevin Geary

Avid fan of all things sports--especially the Louisville Bats. Lover of all things Louisville. 2007 graduate of Doss High School and future 2012 graduate of the University of Louisville.

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