Rogues in the Community
Rogues in the Community
A lot was accomplished in 2017 both on and off the field. From claiming our first Great West League title in club history, to spending early mornings on the field with the local Special Olympics Softball team, to raising money to help find a cure for breast cancer, the only word that can describe this season is “success.” Thanks to the efforts spearheaded by Community Relations Coordinator Sammi Costello, the Rogues and Harry & David Field raised over $30,000 in donations to give back to the community that has shown our organization overwhelming support over the past five years.
Early in the 2017 season, we sent six players (all of whom volunteered) to spend a morning with the patients at the Children’s Hospital of southern Oregon. They visited with the children, took selfies with them, signed baseballs, and gave away stickers and other prizes.
[From left to right: Clay Valenzuela-Reece, Jayden Hanna, Scotty Wright, Alex Isola, Coach Jeff Lyle, Ryan Carle, Davis Delorefice]
Inspired by the strength and courage of the children at Asante, the Rogues players pictured above went a combined 7-14 with two doubles, a home run, five RBI, five runs scored AND struck out five batters in three innings against the Portland Pickles later that day. The game was tied 5-5 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. Clay Valenzuela-Reece led off with a double and advanced to third on a single hit by Johnny DeLaCruz. Alex Isola walked to load the bases for Dante Gutierrez, who hit a fly ball deep to left field, scoring Valenzuela-Reece for the walk-off victory.
Later that week, we partnered with International Fitness for Superhero Night. International Fitness employees volunteered to dress up as super heroes during a game to help raise money for the Children’s Hospital. Rogues fans dressed up as their favorite heroes, and we donated one dollar for every superhero that came through the gates of Harry & David Field to the Children’s Hospital.
Rogues fans hung out with Heroes of all colors and sizes that night. Many secret identities were revealed, and even more pictures were taken. But one superhero waited until the final pitch of the game to save the day. With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning and the Rogues trailing by two runs, Alex Isola stepped into the batter’s box. Like something out of a comic book, Isola sent a 2-0 fastball over the Harry & David scoreboard in left field to win the game with a walk-off grand slam.
For the first time ever, we paired up with members from the Jackson County Special Olympics Softball team this season. The entire Rogues roster joined the softball team to play a game of mixed-team slow-pitch softball.
“It was an incredible experience sharing the field with them (the softball team),” said Rogues relief pitcher Ryan Carle. “When I look back on the season, that game sticks out in my mind as one of the most fun games I played in. I know a lot of the other guys really enjoyed the experience as well.”
One of the longest standing traditions of this organization is to auction off game-worn, special edition jerseys to benefit local charities and foundations. The Star Wars jerseys were sold to raise money for Hearts with a Mission in southern Oregon. The Military jerseys were auctioned off to benefit Rogue Valley Veterans & Community Outreach. Our Pink jerseys were part of our Paint the Park Pink night, where 100% of the proceeds from the jersey auction went to the Leila J. Eisenstein Breast Center.
In addition to our Paint the Park Pink night, we partnered up with RASA Yoga and YoMIND Matters Yoga for an on-field yoga event. Nearly 100 Rogues players, coaches, staff and fans participated in the yoga event. In addition to the jersey auction, all the proceeds from the yoga event went to the Leila J. Eisenstein Breast Center.
On July 25th we had Christmas in July, where our Christmas in July jerseys were auctioned off to benefit ACCESS of Medford. For the second consecutive year, we hosted Bark in the Park to benefit the Southern Oregon Humane Society. Fans were encouraged to bring their dogs to Harry & David Field to watch some baseball. There were over 70 dogs in attendance, and together we raised close to 400 dollars for SO Humane.
Even though we brought a championship to Medford this summer, our work in the community is never over. In late September, Harry & David Field hosted Foundations for Recovery’s Drive Out Drugs Recovery Festival and Carnival. The carnival featured pony rides, bounce houses, water slides, paintball, live music, delicious food, and other fun carnival games. Between the carnival and the raffle, we helped raised thousands of dollars for Foundations for Recovery to continue to help people in the Rogue Valley recover from addiction.
“We at the Foundations for Recovery are truly thankful to have the Medford Rogues partner with us each year in helping us provide addiction education awareness in our community through our Annual Drive Out Drugs Recovery Festival,” said Doug Gould, Executive Director of Foundations for Recovery. “This yearly partnership allows our community to come together in hopes to reach those young people and adults that find themselves caught in the grip of addiction. The Festival was an overwhelming success in large part thanks to the Medford Rogues and Harry & David Field.”
"On behalf of the Rogues, I would personally like to thank the fans of the Medford Rogues and the southern Oregon community for the support they have given us throughout the years," said Dave May, Chief Operating Officer of the Rogues. "And to our host families, thank you for your continued generosity and unrelenting support of our organization. You open your home and your hearts to our players every season. We would not be able to provide southern Oregon with the highest quality baseball without you!"
If you are interested in becoming a host family, please visit this page.