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Players getting their heads shaved in support of pediatric cancer research
Players getting their heads shaved in support of pediatric cancer research

Otterbein baseball shaves their heads in support of pediatric cancer research

The team shaves their heads and pledges to volunteer at local hospitals for cancer patients

As baseball season approaches, the weather gets nicer, the sun stays out longer, and you may notice some students in class sporting brand new haircuts. You don’t think too much about the first few you see, but after you see about three or four classmates with fresh buzzcuts, you start to wonder. 

The truth is, these classmates all have two things in common: they all love baseball and they all hate cancer. 

For the past few seasons, Otterbein’s baseball team has held a fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation to support children who are living with cancer. Both the players and the coaches pledge to shave their hair in solidarity. 

Head coach George Powell and assistant coach Colton Hann, both have personal reasons why they encourage the team to fund-raise and show support for people struggling with cancer. Hann lost a childhood friend to leukemia in 2019, and Powell lost a friend to cancer when he was a senior in high school. 

“I think everybody’s family is affected by it,” says Powell.  

Both coaches say that cancer puts things into perspective.  

“I think it kind of takes you outside of baseball, and helps guys remember that this is just a game, and your bad days are somebody’s really good days,” says Hann.  

The players embrace the yearly tradition just as much as the coaches. They say shaving their hair in preparation for the upcoming season builds unity for everyone from first years to fifth years. 

“On top of it being a good cause, I also think it builds around a camaraderie on the team, because it’s not like you're the only person shaving your head, you’re in a room with 50 other of your teammates and they also have a shaved head,” says senior pitcher Henry Conrad.  

Earlier this week, the team gathered in the campus center to shave each other’s hair. The players agree that it’s intimidating the first time, but the tradition connects the team as one. 

“It lets the guy next to you know that you’re in the same boat, that’s what it’s about,” says junior catcher, Zac Taylor. 

This season, they plan to volunteer at a local hospital to see how their efforts can help families from around the country in their battles with cancer. Players says that this will allow them to help children firsthand.

"Being able to see your impact in person, like see the kids, help them and see their faces, kind of is more impactful," says senior outfielder Evan Saunier. 

So as the season begins, Otterbein’s baseball team might have a little less hair than other teams, but the impact they’re making is bigger than any one person, and bigger than baseball. 


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