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Eric Hornick
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July 20 - T-ing Off on a T-Ball Coach

In a world of sports heroes and hoodlums, there may, and I’ll emphasize
the word “may”, be no bigger hoodlum in sports from T-Ball coach Mark
R. Downs, Jr.

Who is this guy, you ask?  Simply put, if the allegations are true, the worst
of the worse.    Before a T-Ball game in the Pittsburgh area in late June,
Downs allegedly paid one of his players $25.

He didn’t pay $25 for his player to throw the game.  He paid him $25 to throw the ball - at the head of an
autistic teammate.  

Downs allegedly wanted to improve his chances of winning a T-Ball game by having the youngster miss
the game.  His plot worked.  The boy was hit in the head and the groin and did not play.

T-Ball, for those who might not know, is a precursor to baseball, where the children hit the ball off of a
tee, instead of having the ball pitched by a batting machine, coach, or opposing player.

Downs was later arrested and faces some minor charges. He was released without bond.

More recent reports suggest that part of this story is not true – I can only hope so.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go give my kids a kiss and thank the heavens that they are happy and
healthy.

After that, I’ll send a few dollars to one of my favorite charities,
the Special Olympics.