The annual Paschal-Arlington Heights baseball tournament, a long-time tradition, got a makeover this year that honored a Paschal graduate killed in a car wreck days before enrolling at TCU.
The now-named Drew Medford Memorial Baseball Tournament awarded $2,000 scholarships to one senior player from each of the six participating teams. Medford’s jersey was retired in a pre-game ceremony during the last game of the tournament.
Tournament organizers hope to increase the number of participating teams and the value of the scholarship awards in coming years. Ultimately, they said they hope to attract teams from all around the country.
They said they want to recognize Medford’s selfless character.
“He’s an unbelievable guy, I mean great baseball player but an even better person,” said head coach Darrell Preston. “Drew made me a better coach over the last four years, he made us all great people,” he said.
Junior pitcher Matthew Urban said Medford taught him that it doesn’t take velocity to be a good pitcher, it takes placement.
“I’ll always remember what Drew told me during playoffs,” said Urban. “It was that nervous pitchers are the worst pitchers because if you’re nervous, you get tense and you can’t play.”
Zack Shaw, a freshman at Texas State University and Paschal Baseball alumni, played with Medford in high school. Shaw said he was the fiercest competitor he’s ever played with in his life.
“The kid had the biggest heart in the world and he brought up everyone with him. It wasn’t that we were following him, he wanted us to be even with him,” Shaw said. “If our heart wasn’t in it, he was going to be on us the entire time. He was the leader of this team and he was the heart of this team.”
The Paschal players all wore the number 12, Medford’s number, on their hats.
You will be with us forever! pic.twitter.com/rimkyQ7yNW
— PaschalBaseball (@PaschalBaseball) March 12, 2017