FRISCO — The Frisco RoughRiders played host Saturday to the latest Texas Rangers Winter Caravan stop, and the Double A affiliate did more than just try to sell season tickets.
Proceeds from the event at Dr Pepper Ballpark were donated to the Det. Jerry Walker Memorial Fund. Walker, of the Little Elm Police Department, was shot and killed Jan. 17 in the line of duty.
The Rangers players who attended the event, signing autographs and interacting with baseball fans, said they were thrilled to be part of the Frisco club’s community outreach.
“One of the biggest things I love about this organization is the sense of community we have here,” right-hander A.J. Griffin said. “When terrible things like that happen, people in this area of Texas and the DFW area come together and really help out everyone in need. Especially when you see things like what happened [police shooting] last year in downtown Dallas, and then what happened in Little Elm, the community here is so inclusive and they come together and do their best to make everyone feel loved and included and try to help everyone out.
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Griffin was joined by fellow right-handers Chi Chi Gonzalez and Tanner Scheppers, manager Jeff Banister, catcher Robinson Chirinos and shortstop Elvis Andrus.
We know we can’t stop the sadness, but we can contribute. They have family, and it’s important to help them go through this tough process.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus
Andrus, the longest tenured Rangers player, said that nothing can take away wha Walker’s wife and four children are feeling, but he and the Rangers are glad to try to take away some pain.
“When an accident or something bad happens like that day, especially for his family with four kids, they’re devastated for sure,” Andrus said. “We know we can’t stop the sadness, but we can contribute. They have family, and it’s important to help them go through this tough process. We’re not just here to bring joy on the baseball field, but to try and bring joy and happiness outside the stadium.”
A Frisco official said that the club would be donating at least $3,000 raised from ticket sales to the VIP autograph session and for the mystery ball drawings. The club also donated money raised in a silent auction for a game-used Frisco jerseys and gathered from donation buckets at the ballpark.