Baseball team's stolen equipment left them with nothing - until kindness stepped in

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - All some kids really need is a chance. But the 14 boys who made the cut for the James Martin Middle School baseball team didn't have much of a chance - because they didn't have much of the equipment they needed to play.

Head coach Corey Benfield tried to piece together what he could, but it wasn't enough.

"They would have a kid with a glove throw with a kid who didn't have a glove. And they would try to catch it with one hand, which, I told them not to throw as hard," Benfield said. "That was one of the hardest parts to watch."

The equipment that kept the team afloat was stolen, leaving the boys with high hopes, but nothing to get there with.

That is, until Coach Benfield sent an email... actually, he sent dozens of emails.

"I got on my computer and sent the same email to every single high school in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools," Benfield said.

He pleaded with other coaches for any "hand-me-down" items they could donate. It was an email sent from one heart and answered in full by another.

"One of the biggest responses was from Hopewell High School," Benfield said.

The assistant coach of the Hopewell High baseball team brought a truck to James Martin Middle. Inside that truck was one of every single piece of equipment you could imagine. Expensive bats, gloves, helmets, and cleats were all donated by the kids on Hopewell's team so the younger kids "could have a chance."

Benfield said the kids were running around like it was Christmas, claiming piece after piece of equipment for their very own.

"When they showed up to try out, a lot of these kids didn't even have a glove," Benfield said.

Now, they have all they need to not only compete, but to know first-hand the kindness of others. And hopefully, Benfield said, they'll be able to pay it forward.

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