Gators Head to Galveston for Annual Holiday Hospital Visit


Courtesy of San Jacinto College Baseball

San Jacinto College baseball players, pictured here at Shriners Hospitals for Children in 2017, will continue the team’s Christmastime tradition on Dec. 6 with a visit to the burn care unit.

During the holiday season, most members of the College community count their blessings, but the San Jacinto College Gators try to pass some of theirs to children who could use a few more.

The baseball team will visit the pediatric burn care unit at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Galveston on Dec. 6 to honor a Christmastime tradition the team started six years ago.

Players distribute donated gifts, and according to Gators outfielder Cole Turney, they spend a few hours with the children to lift their spirits.

“It’s awesome to play games with the kids and see them have a good time,” Turney said.

The yearly hospital visits started when Volunteer Assistant Baseball Coach Kory Koehler got in touch with Shriners Hospitals, giving the players a chance to get off the baseball field and give back to their community.

Assistant Baseball Coach Eric Weaver said the team visits are enjoyable for the children, but the players benefit because they see first-hand the hardships others go through.

“The guys get more out of it,” Weaver said. “They learn not to take things for granted.”

Turney went on the visit for the first time last year and said players could look forward to getting to know the children, their families, and their situations. Moreover, he said the experience opened him up to the fact that although the team plays to win, they have a purpose outside of baseball.

“It has shown me that everything we do for ourselves doesn’t really matter at all,” he said, “unless we’re using it to bring others up and to positively impact their lives.”