A few weeks ago, Baseball Essential shared the touching story of Baltimore Orioles scout Ryan Powell and his family. Powell, currently serving as the Head of Independent League Scouting for the Orioles, was hoping for a chance to suit up and play one last inning in front of his mother, Wendy, who continues to battle brain cancer. The 30-year-old catcher last played professionally in 2013, and was invited to Orioles’ spring camp that year before ultimately moving into a scouting role. Until this spring, Powell had considered his spikes happily hung up for good, but his desire to put a smile on his mom’s face drove him to seek a chance for one more inning on the diamond.
As spring training draws to a conclusion and Opening Day approaches ever more rapidly, there is a bit of happy news to share from the Powell family. The Orioles and their front office were touched by Ryan’s desire to serve as an inspiration for Wendy as she continues her fight against cancer. Through the difficult journey, Ryan has remained committed as ever to the hectic life of a scout, often spending weeks on the road searching for the next diamond in the rough who could make the major-league roster. For their part, the Orioles have remained extremely supportive of the Powell family’s needs. What’s coming next week is the ultimate show of support.
The Orioles will sign Ryan Powell to a minor-league contract, and he will take the field in front of his family next Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox minor leaguers. For at least one more inning, this family, whose battle is not yet over, will unite at the ballpark and enjoy the one thing that has been a constant in their lives for decades — baseball. To make the moment and day even more special, Victus Bats has created a commemorative, special edition bat for Ryan to use, emblazoned with his and Wendy’s initials and a special message to mother from son. The orange and silver ash bats will be sold by Victus with all proceeds going to support those affected by cancer.
As Major League Baseball continues to support the Stand Up to Cancer initiative, it is refreshing to see the league and the Orioles reach out and make something special for one of their own. By supporting the Powell family and helping to fulfill Wendy’s wish to see her son play one more time, the Orioles will send a positive message to hundreds of baseball fans fighting their own battle against cancer. For the Powells, whether the Orioles win or lose next Tuesday, whether or not Ryan gets a hit, this one last inning is a victory to be treasured and reveled in forever.