During the course of a baseball season, almost every team faces adversity. Nearly every team deals with injuries and the natural highs and lows that come with winning and losing. The Muhlenberg baseball team faces a different type of adversity. A type of adversity that transcends the diamond. The team will play out the rest of their season without senior catcher Derrick Redcay. Redcay, 18, suffered a stroke in his spine last Thursday, which has rendered him paralyzed from the neck down.
It was Helen Keller who said “a happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.” Mastering these hardships is exactly what the Muhls will attempt to do as they head into the home stretch of their season.
The Muhls celebrated senior night on Thursday with Derrick’s parents taking part in the festivities. Players from both Exeter and Muhlenberg could be seen wearing red wristbands to support Derrick, while the crowd was also decked out in red. A banner with a “red K” and the number 22 was hanging from the left field fence. The entire Muhlenberg team could be seen kneeling in front of the banner just before the start of the game. As the players made their way from the banner to the dugout, they were greeted by Derrick’s family, who embraced each player and exchanged well wishes.
As for the game, the Exeter eagles emerged victorious 6-1, but the score still feels secondary to the rest of what transpired.
Derrick’s impact on the community as a whole can not be understated. The outpouring of support has been nothing short of incredible. On Monday night, #PrayForRedcay and #PhilliesMeetDerrick were both trending in the Philadelphia area. Meanwhile, a facebook group created by Derrick’s uncle now has nearly 2000 members.
“Derrick is a good hearted person. When he wasn’t in school or on the field, he was giving back to his community as a volunteer firefighter. It’s incredible to see the community giving back to him when he needs it most.”, said a classmate who wished to remain anonymous.
The Reading Fightin Phils, who already planned to host Muhlenberg night on Saturday, will honor Redcay at the game. The Philadelphia Phillies, who are Derrick’s favorite team, are aware of his situation and are working to find a time where they can hand deliver a care package to him.
Other baseball teams in the county are planning to honor Redcay as well. Berks Catholic will be wearing red shirts with Derrick’s #22 on them during warmups for the remainder of the season.