OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — WVU alum Ken Kendrick, managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, donated $200,000 to the Mountaineer Athletic Club in the name of the WVU baseball program to the Oklahoma City tornado relief effort.
“We have all been saddened by the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. The actions taken in the aftermath by the WVU baseball team demonstrated the true Mountaineer spirit by immediately helping the victims begin the recovery process,” Kendrick said. “I am now very proud to help support our baseball team’s efforts with the rebuilding process, which will hopefully bring some joy back to the Oklahoma City community.”
The funds will be appropriated to the Oklahoma City All Sports Association to help repair baseball fields in the Oklahoma City area that were damaged by devastating tornadoes during the past month.
“This is where we not only live, but where we play. The devastating and tragic tornado storms of May 2013 delivered an incredible and painful blow to our communities and their sports facilities infrastructure,” said Tim Brassfield, executive director of the Oklahoma City All Sports Association.
“Many of the youth baseball organizations are shut down or severely hindered due to the loss of so many baseball/softball fields. We will be forever grateful for a relationship with West Virginia University and their amazingly generous alum, Ken Kendrick. His contribution will be used to help boys and girls get active and back on the ball fields as quickly as possible as we rebuild the many, many complexes that were damaged or destroyed.”
A native of Princeton, W.Va. and a 1965 WVU graduate, Kendrick said he was inspired by the goodwill put forth by members of the WVU baseball program while the team was participating in the Big 12 baseball tournament from May 23-25 in Oklahoma City.
Following an EF5 tornado that devastated nearby Moore, Okla. on May 20, the WVU baseball team jumped into action. The team went to a local store to buy essential items that were later handed out to victims who were staying at Oklahoma’s campus. On May 26, with one day to spare before coming back to Morgantown, the team took a bus into Moore and helped victims sort through the wreckage of the demolished houses.
“I am proud of Coach Mazey and our baseball team for their efforts in Moore, Okla. There are more important things in life than a game, and our young men displayed that with great maturity,” said WVU athletics director Oliver Luck. “With the support of one of our passionate alumni, Ken Kendrick, the Mountaineer baseball program will continue to help the people of Moore rebuild, and I also hope to go there some time late this summer to lend a hand in this process. I cannot thank Ken enough for his generosity, and I know that he too was genuinely moved by our team’s efforts. One day soon, kids will be playing baseball again in Moore, and that will certainly help in the healing process.”
Added Mazey: “I would like to thank Mr. Kendrick for his generous donation on behalf of the WVU baseball team. Unless you were there and witnessed what we experienced in the aftermath of the tornado, it’s hard to appreciate the gravity of the situation.”
The Oklahoma City All Sports Association will do an audit of the damages and determine how to allocate the funds. This summer, Luck and Mazey will travel to Oklahoma to help work on the athletics fields damaged by the tornadoes.