There's a tradition in baseball where players give back to the local community they play for. A big part of playing for the Madisonville Miners is to go out into the Madisonville community and to be a positive influence off the field as well as between the foul lines.
"They do community events once or twice a week," Miners head coach Joe Martinez said. "They seem to enjoy doing it. One of the things I tell them is when they sign autographs for kids at games or things like that is to remember that they were those kids looking up to them playing at a high level."
The Miners have done a variety of community events throughout the season, including visiting retirement homes and participating in summer reading programs at the library.
"A big part of it is not only should the players be seen on the field during games, but they should also be seen in the community," Madisonville board member Don Hundley said. "We started on the very first day they were here when they went to the radio station for advertising."
Hundley is in charge of the public appearances the Miners make. He has also been part of the Miners host family program currently in his sixth season, hosting pitcher Ryan White this year.
Whether it's helping kids at a summer reading program at the library or playing catch with residents at a retirement home, the players seem to enjoy giving back to the community in their short time in Madisonville.
"I see smiles on the players faces while they're interacting with members of the community," Martinez said. "When I recruit them, I bring it up that the community will embrace them when they do events like that. I'll also tell them that giving back is part of the baseball culture."
"We require them to do three events," Hundley said. "But some of them will do seven or 10 because they love doing these events so much. The players are always eager to help out in anyway they can."
The Miners only have a few weeks left in the season, but the impact they have made on the community will last well beyond the final out of the 2019 season.