MECKLENBURG COUNTY, Va. -- A Mecklenburg High School baseball player and his family are getting a chance to see a world-famous exhibition team’s shenanigans in person.
The Savannah Bananas, who routinely go viral with social media posts depicting America’s favorite pastime far different from what fans encounter at a Major League Baseball game, reached out to Lucas Crutchfield after learning about his recent traumatic brain injury.
A bad hop during practice in March resulted in Lucas, 15, taking a hard hit to his left temple. The impact to his memory and cognitive function have been severe.
A bad hop at baseball practice may have changed his life forever
"[He is] very different," mother Crystal Crutchfield told CBS 6 earlier this week. "Sometimes it’s like the mindset of a 2-year-old. We’re having to show him [how to do] things [again].”
When asked by CBS 6 Senior Reporter Wayne Covilwhat is next, the 9th grader was adamant he wasn’t ready to play baseball again yet but he did have one wish.
“I just want to go to Savannah, Georgia, to see the Savannah Bananas," he said.
The very next day, Crystal says she received a Facebook message from the team offering the family tickets to see the Bananas play in Durham this July.
The team is known for hijinx, random dance parties and trick plays. The Bananas’ website calls the in-game experience a “World Famous Baseball Circus.”
“[I’m] pretty excited,” Lucas said Friday of the invitation. “I think it will be fun.”
The family of five received tickets for two games the weekend of July 15.
“The amount of outpouring and support our community has done has been, it’s been terrific,” said Crystal.
A GoFundMe accountsupporting the Crutchfield family is gaining momentum as well, giving Lucas the support he will need for intense care still to come.
An out-of-state specialist visit is first on the agenda, followed by multiple weekly trips to the city for therapy.
“When we start physical therapy with him and the cognitive therapy and vision therapy, they’ve told us it’s three days a week in Richmond,” Crystal said.
The family said doctors braced them for the reality that Lucas's memory may not return to its pre-injury state. The Crutchfields hope Lucas’s story will bring more attention to high school sports and the need to have training for a clear and immediate plan for what to do when an athlete sustains a hit to the head.
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