BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Jacksonville Suns spent their travel day on Tuesday helping victims of last Wednesday's tornados and severe thunderstorms in Pratt City, Ala., just north of Birmingham.
The Suns volunteered at the American Red Cross' Pratt City Disaster Resource Center at the Scott School just blocks from where tornados damaged countless numbers of homes. Pratt City lost nearly 1,000 homes due to last Wednesday's tornado damage.
"The guys did a great job helping out," said Suns manager Andy Barkett. "Obviously there is a huge need for any assistance here. To see guys helping families, helping give clothes, unloading trucks, and 30 guys jumping in this situation is very helpful for the people there. I'm very proud of the team for stepping up and jumping right in to help out. This puts a lot of things in perspective for all of us."
Most of the work involved sorting through materials that have been donated to the American Red Cross. Suns players and staff helped in the distribution of the materials into different rooms at the Scott School so that disaster victims could get relief materials as quickly as possible.
The players and staff also helped unload trucks of donated items and visited with Pratt City residents who are starting to rebuild after last week's storms.
Also helping out at the Scott School was the President and CEO of the NAACP Benjamin Todd Jealous, who visited with several members of the Suns.
While leaving the Disaster Resource Center, several Suns walked through some neighborhoods surrounding Scott School to see some of the damage up close. The Suns also saw tornado damage while driving through Pratt City and other areas of Birmingham.
The opening game of the Jacksonville and Huntsville series was pushed back due to the severe weather of last week in North Alabama.
The Suns and Stars will play the first game of the series on Wednesday afternoon, beginning at 12:03 p.m. eastern time with lefty Graham Taylor (0-1, 4.50 ERA) pitching for the Suns against Huntsville right-hander Michael Bowman (1-0, 2.78 ERA). The game originally scheduled for Tuesday will be played as part of a double-header on Thursday night at Joe Davis Stadium, as the clubs will play two seven-inning games beginning at 5:43 eastern time. The games on Friday and Saturday will be played as scheduled, with both games beginning at 7:43 p.m. eastern time.
The Jacksonville Suns are the minor league Class AA affiliate of the Florida Marlins. The Suns are proud members and five-time champions of the 10-team Southern League of Professional Baseball. To learn more about the Jacksonville Suns, visit www.jaxsuns.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.