WVU Baseball Team Joins Relief Efforts in Oklahoma City

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 5/21/13
NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As groups pitch in to help with disaster relief efforts after the Oklahoma tornadoes, one group helping out is West Virginia University's baseball team. The group is in Oklahoma City for the Big 12 Tournament.

When the tornadoes hit, the players, including a graduate of Nitro High School, rallied to buy supplies for the victims of the tornadoes. Matt Frazer, a former Nitro High School baseball standout, was one of the players leading the effort, and he documented it all in a video.

"I'm Matt Frazer, I'm the DH [Designated Hitter] for the West Virginia Mountaineers," Frazier said in the video. "Me and my team are getting clothes and apparel for the victims of the tornadoes today."

Frazer's old baseball coach from Nitro, Steve Pritchard, said he's not surprised by Frazer's willingness to help.

"In my 20 years of coaching, Matt's one of my favorites," Pritchard said. "It's not because of all the home runs he hit or the plays he made. It was the person he was off the field."

Pritchard said that when Frazer was in high school, he would help out the special ed kids in school -- picking them up and dropping them off, taking them out or celebrating their birthdays -- all without telling anyone.

"One of the mothers of the special ed students walked up to me and said what a winner I had with Matt Frazer," Pritchard said of how he finally found out about it during Frazer's senior year.

He said he's also happy to see that WVU's coach is leading by example and teaching his players to be good people.

"All we can do to help, we're going to try and do," the coach said in the video.

"That's going to teach our future leaders of tomorrow, those kids that's playing, more than anything he'll teach them on the field," Pritchard said.

Although Frazer has always been good at baseball, Pritchard said he's always been more interested in helping people.

"He was a better person than he was player, and that said a lot about him," Pritchard said, noting that Frazer was at one time one of the best players in West Virginia and was even drafted into the minor leagues before choosing to go to college.

WVU will play their tournament games starting Thursday afternoon. The games were postponed because of the tornadoes.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia University's Baseball Team is safe, but the players were very close to a devastating tornado in Oklahoma City.

The team is in Oklahoma City for the Big 12 Tournament. The tournament has been delayed to Thursday because of the devestation.

The players have been helping with relief efforts in the area. Players say they wanted to help out, especially since some of them are from the Midwest.

The team bought clothes and supplies and plan to deliver the goods to victims in the ravaged suburbs of Oklahoma City.

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