The visiting Richmond Soulful Sunday’s softball team returned bigger and faster but still couldn’t handle all the big hits from the San Quentin Hardtimers, falling 22-15.
Soulful Sunday’s team includes community activists who engage in curbing street violence. Paul Chambers of Fox News captured the game on the invite of Rodney “Alamo” Brown, Soulful Sunday’s head coach and event planner.
“We are coming here to build bridges of peace right at the epicenter, and softball is the vehicle we use to do what really needs to be done,” said Brown.
Soulful Sunday’s is an annual event to bring warring factions in cities like Richmond, Oakland and Berkeley together to promote peace through softball.
“It’s not just about Richmond,” said inmate Reggie Hunt, who is from Richmond. “It’s about reaching out to every city, because what they bring is unity. It’s a heartfelt feeling to know that in our time of despair they came in here to put a smile on our faces.”
Hunt played with Soulful Sunday’s when he was free, and he plans to rejoin once he paroles.
The Soulful Sunday’s jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first inning by finding the infield gaps. Anthony “TJ” Jones and Jeremiah Fisher both whacked homeruns.
The Hardtimers answered with a big third inning. Michael “Hawkeye” Flemings tripled to score two runs. Cordiare “Tune” McDonald smashed a deep ball to centerfield for a three-run infield homerun, his first of two for the game.
Hardtimer Brendan Terrell sent a scorching deep ball over the left-field fence for three more runs that took the lead 9-7.
“Softball is my therapy; I know it can do wonders for them,” said Jones. “Being here gives you appreciation for what you have and lets you know someone else has it harder than you do. It’s one of our goals to help this program grow.”
The Hardtimers added three runs in the fourth. Robert Polzin scored three runs off a triple, and Terrell hit another two-run homer to extend the lead 18-10.
In Soulful Sunday’s last at bat, Fisher popped a two-run homer over the right-field fence, but the Hardtimers turned the defensive plays need for the June 4 victory.
“We look forward to this all year,” said Mervin Saucer. We are glad channel 2 (Fox) came here to help get out our message of love, peace and unity out.”
Brown concluded, “You could see the unity from the guys here; it wasn’t about North, South or Central Richmond. They all were just from Richmond.”
The Office of Neighborhood Safety [https://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/271/Office-of-Neighborhood-Safety] techniques involve street outreach and transformative travel. ONS seeks out young men who are active firearm offenders to present credible alternatives to violence.