By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – They lost limbs while serving their country, but members of this nationally acclaimed softball team can crush opponents on the field.
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team comes to Tupelo today as part of a national tour matching them up against police officers, firefighters and other celebrity teams.
Despite their missing limbs, players have racked up a winning record during the first leg of the tour. They’ll put it to the test today and Saturday against Tupelo employees.
Game One kicks off with opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. against members of the Tupelo Police Department.
Game Two starts at 1:40 p.m. on Saturday against Tupelo Water & Light, and the final game starts at 6 p.m. that evening against the Tupelo Fire Department.
Former longtime Mississippi State University sports broadcaster Jack Cristil is scheduled to call the first game. A meet-and-greet with the team is set between the second and third games.
All matches will be held at the Outback Steakhouse Field inside the Veterans Park Softball Complex, behind the fire station.
“We are honored to host the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team,” said Mayor Jack Reed Jr. “Tupelo has a reputation for being a very patriotic city and I’m excited that our three departments … will get a chance to, not only play against, but interact with some of these heroic soldiers.”
Team members include soldiers who had fought and lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the organization’s website. Their games raise awareness about “the sacrifices and resilience of our military and highlight their ability to rise above any challenge.”
Since its debut, the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team has earned national, regional and local media coverage.
Tupelo was lucky to cinch a slot on the schedule, said Seth Gaines, sports director for the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, who helped coordinate this weekend’s games.
Numerous sponsors are paying for the team to come, Gaines said, and the city will donate half its ticket proceeds back to the nonprofit.
• 6:30 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies begin on Outback Steakhouse Field at the at Veterans Softball Complex
• 7 p.m. – Play Ball against Tupelo Police Department
• Under 6: Free
• 7 through 12: $2
• 13 and up: $5