CDO Little League Set to Honor Christina-Taylor Green with patches on Uniformsby Andy Morales on Jan. 16, 2011, under Sports
From CDO Little League:
The tragedy on Saturday has taken one of our own, Christina Taylor Green, a Little Leaguer in every sense of the title. Christina played baseball in the Canyon Del Oro Little League for the Fall Pirates in 2009 and 2010. Her Dad, John, was a valued coach and friend on both teams, while sharing his dedication and talents with his son Dallas’ teams at the same time.
Out of respect for Christina and the Green Family, it seems appropriate to share a little about the Little League Baseball side of Christina’s life. There is a sense that Christina’s story should be shared, both as a possible aid in the healing process for the family and community, but also as source of inspiration to all of us.
Christina’s love for the game of baseball did not have to be learned or developed. The family connections to the game made it a part of who she was. What she exemplified in the baseball arena were the core characteristics we all hope our players will gain from Little League Baseball: CHARACTER, COURAGE and LOYALTY.
CHARACTER: A sense of right and wrong, a willingness to do something about wrongs, a desire to learn, a determination to excel and a fun loving attitude. All of these are attributes that could explain what Character means, and we’ve all heard of Christina’s ability to demonstrate these, but on the baseball field these attributes shined ever so brightly. She was very competitive…she wanted to excel as an individual on the field, and she also wanted her team to excel. But she understood there was more going on in the Little League environment than just winning or losing. When she was at the field, she was as upset as anyone when a bad play occurred, but she was also as excited as anyone after a good play. One particular memory involved a hard slide at second base. Christina had flipped the ball from her second base defensive position to the shortstop covering second. The base runner made a clean but hard slide into second to break the play up. As the runner and shortstop were attempting to stand a bit of a struggle started for the right to occupy the base. Being right there, and with a sound sense of right and wrong she took charge and set the players straight on the play and the inappropriateness of the struggle. Her attitude and actions exuded the Character of a Leader.
COURAGE: Christina was not short on Courage. She played in a baseball league with boys that were strong and fast, but she never once was fazed about being the only girl on the team in 2010, nor did a hard hit ball or a whizzing fastball intimidate her. She had the courage to play every position on the field. In one particular game, Christina was having a quality at bat, seeing the ball well and fouling several balls off. After 6 or 7 pitches, the pitcher accidentally let a fastball go that plunked her pretty good. After picking herself up and dusting herself off, she was given the choice to take first base or finish her at bat (loose instructional league rules – and certainly she had earned the right to stay in the at bat). With a slight grimace on her face, but without hesitation, she replied “I want to hit”. And hit she did! Her tenacious spirit was pumped up and she drove a hard hit ball on the next pitch. Courage was just part of who she was.
LOYALTY: It can be hard to tell when Loyalty comes naturally from a child or when it comes from the immediate prodding from a parent. Certainly, loyalty is a trait we as parents teach to our kids, but when a child demonstrates loyalty without prompting, we know it comes from them. Good teammates can pick a teammate’s spirit up much better than a coach can. Christina was always one that would reach out to a teammate in need of a “nice try” or “get’em next time”. When cheering was needed from the dugout, she could be counted on to get it started. But perhaps her loyalty to her team can best be demonstrated by example. A message was received early one Saturday morning from her Dad John that Christina was under the weather and wasn’t going to make it to the game later that morning. Just a couple hours later during warm ups before the late morning game, we were shocked to see her hustling her way through warm ups.
You could tell she didn’t feel too hot, but she was keeping up with, even setting the example for the team. When asked how she came to be there, Dad responded with something to the effect of “she wanted to play ball, wanted to be here for the team”. She was loyal to her Pirate team despite her parent’s judgment…that was Christina’s Loyalty.
There are countless memories of the remarkable ball player and person that was Christina. A few personal highlights:
A particular game where the Pirate batters had managed to work the bases loaded. We were down a couple of runs and in need of a momentum swing. Christina came out of the dugout to bat and I couldn’t help but claim “here’s our RBI leader” which was the absolute truth. A few anxious swings later, Christina sat back on a fastball and drove a hard line drive up the middle bringing in two runs and putting us right back into the game. Her smile and excitement yielded one of the best high fives ever!
In between innings during infield warm‐ups, a hot and sweaty day was cooled off a little by a second baseman fielding and throwing back to first all while singing the current pop hit song of the month. Not only was Christina singing she had the first baseman and right fielder singing too. She was so cool!
Racing to get our running in was just part of what the Pirates did. As a result, it was no surprise when Christina and one of her teammate friends challenged one of the coaches to a race. After diligently negotiating the terms of the race, format and winnings, over the course of a week or so (negotiating was a strong skill of Christina’s), the race was had across the outfield and back, with Christina and teammate running forward and coach running backwards, all for an ice cream. The joy didn’t come from the winning (the coach lost), but rather from just the pure fun of the event!
Christina was a great second baseman, an up and coming pitcher, a strong batter and an outstanding teammate. Pirates all receive an Outstanding Team Player award for their accomplishments during the year, and every year Christina epitomized what it meant to be an OTP!
Perhaps one of the most amazing traits of Christina was her balance in life. She was so engaged in everything, giving her best and excelling, but she still was capable of being a little girl…wanting to play for the sake of play, climbing the mesquite tree at the park with the rest of the team after practice while parents and coaches talked, laughing at silly jokes…she was rock star in so many ways, but also a beautiful little girl.
May we all accept the challenge to glorify Christina by finding our own little ways to live life to the fullest, to demonstrate CHARACTER, COURAGE and LOYALTY with the zest Christina did.
God Bless you Christina…and God Bless you John, Roxanna and Dallas. We love you all!
CDO Little League is part of District 5 and their home field is located at James D. Kreigh Park in Oro Valley.
Memorial Patch Honoring Christina Taylor Green
Canyon Del Oro Little League has decided to wear patches on their uniforms this upcoming season in the memory of her life. Their goal is to get all Little Leagues, high school baseball, high school softball, club baseball, club softball, college baseball, college softball, and professional teams across the Country to unify together, and all wear the attached patch on their uniforms to remember Christina Taylor Green’s life.
$1.00 OF EVERY PATCH SOLD WILL GO TO THE CHRISTINA TAYLOR GREEN MEMORIAL FUND
(The fund is held by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona http://www.cfsoaz.org)
Patch Order Form and contact information:
Youth Softball Tournament Raised $3,434.37 at Sportspark
“A BIG THANK YOU to all the teams who participated in this weekends Christina Taylor Green Memorial Fund fundraiser. Through all your generosity we have so far we raised $3,434.37 in just two days!
A special thanks to Rick Cammarata (12u Desert Thunder), Rob and his 14u Desert Thunder Blue for Help organizing this event. Thank you 97 Storm for the bake goods which raised $264.37 and Mark Anderson bringing in the Re/Max air balloon which raised $379!
Thanks again for coming together in short notice to make this a great event in memory of our recent tragedy. ”
Lou Ciurca and Staff,
Participating teams included: AZ Thundercats, Storm 97, Las Girlz (Florence), Lady Ballerz, Sierra Vista Diamonds, Storm 98, Cats 99, 98 AZ Cats, Suncats, Desert Thunder 12U, AZ Rampage, Hotshots (Casa Grande/Phoenix) and the Tucson AZtecs.