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One year later, Josh Hamer’s legacy lives on

The community remembers, celebrates, and continues the legacy of baseball player Josh Hamer, class of 2019, who passed away one year ago

The+varsity+baseball+team+cheers+before+taking+the+field+in+their+shirts+honoring+Hamer+at+the+first+annual+Josh+Hamer+Memorial+Game+at+the+Aberdeen+Ironbirds+Stadium+on+April+21%2C+2017.+The+second+annual+game+is+on+Friday%2C+April+20%2C+2018.
The varsity baseball team cheers before taking the field in their shirts honoring Hamer at the first annual Josh Hamer Memorial Game at the Aberdeen Ironbirds Stadium on April 21, 2017. The second annual game is on Friday, April 20, 2018.

The varsity baseball team cheers before taking the field in their shirts honoring Hamer at the first annual Josh Hamer Memorial Game at the Aberdeen Ironbirds Stadium on April 21, 2017. The second annual game is on Friday, April 20, 2018.

Sarah Meyerl '17

Sarah Meyerl '17

The varsity baseball team cheers before taking the field in their shirts honoring Hamer at the first annual Josh Hamer Memorial Game at the Aberdeen Ironbirds Stadium on April 21, 2017. The second annual game is on Friday, April 20, 2018.

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Pitcher Ryan Archibald pauses for a moment before taking the mound at the first annual Josh Hamer Memorial Game. On April 21, 2017 the Patriots played the Gilman Greyhounds at Leidos Field at the Aberdeen Ironbirds Stadium.

Bracelets branded with the motto “live life like it’s a three-two count” adorn wrists in the JC community and beyond in memory of baseball player Josh Hamer, class of 2019, who passed away on March 2, 2017. “Josh is being honored every time we step out on the field,” varsity baseball head coach Darrion Siler said. Josh is ever-present in the community. A new scholarship, memorial game, and senior projects were created in his honor to continue his legacy.

The baseball field features a flag branded with Hamer’s number, 25, flying at the top of the hill overlooking the field. The right field fence also adorns a memorial sign for Hamer, who was a pitcher. Hamer is still “remembered and honored every time there’s a group of baseball guys playing baseball,” Siler said. A flagpole plaque donated by the JC Parent Association reminds all who see it that number 25’s legacy lives on.

On March 17, students, friends, and teammates gathered at the baseball field nearly one year after Hamer’s passing. Friends and family reflected and shared stories. Memories of Hamer united friends and connected people who had never met. Prayers, blessings, and balloons were lifted into the sky.

Hamer’s legacy lives through new students and players, even ones he never met, through the institution of the Josh Hamer Memorial Scholarship Fund. According to the website, joshhamerscholarship.org, “this scholarship is designed to give one student the extra help needed to attend John Carroll and better themselves just like Josh did.”

According to Siler, there will be a new scholarship recipient every year. The student must be involved in the baseball program all four years, as a player or manager, and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, Siler said. The scholarship committee is “looking for good families, good young men,” Siler said.

In August, it was announced that junior transfer Tyler Blittersdorf  would be the first scholarship recipient. Incoming freshman Benjamin Pierce, class of 2022, was named the second recipient in March.

According to Siler, the scholarship committee is also interested in implementing the Homers for Hamer event and Josh Hamer Memorial Tournament as “legacy project” opportunities for scholarship recipients and others involved in the baseball program. In September, seniors Grant Astle and Ryan Archibald organized both events for their senior project. Four local club baseball teams participated in the tournament and competitors in the Homers for Hamer event battled in six age categories.

In addition to the scholarship, many events have been organized to continue Hamer’s legacy within the JC community and beyond. “This year we are also trying to use the legacy of Josh to affect positive change in other people’s lives and raise awareness of other issues [that] honor Josh’s legacy,” Siler said.

On Friday, April 6, the varsity baseball team played Perryville High School at Yankee Field at Ripken Stadium to benefit Maryland Suicide and Crisis Prevention. The Josh Hamer Memorial Scholarship organization hosted the event. According to Siler, “the families of those who have lost their children [were invited] and [we raised] awareness of crisis prevention using the Hamer Scholarship to get a voice out to every local community that is touched with tragedy.” The Webster and Carducci families were honored before the start of the game.

Following this benefit game, the team will play at the Aberdeen Ironbirds Stadium on Friday, April 20 for the second annual Josh Hamer Memorial Game against Rising Sun High School. Rising Sun was Hamer’s hometown. “There’s no better way to heal as a collective community to continue Josh’s legacy by having them be a part of it,” Siler said, “We are honored.”

 

Sarah Spaeth is the Copy Edit Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

 

 

 

 

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One year later, Josh Hamer’s legacy lives on