When Jason Myers was starring for Hi-Boy Drive-In Post 340 and the 1991 Fort Osage state championship baseball team, he dreamed of hitting the ball out of Crysler Stadium.
That dream came true on a torrid Saturday afternoon as Myers and his Independence Police Department teammates claimed their second consecutive victory over players from the Independence Fire Department with a 6-4 win in the second-annual Guns and Hoses softball game.
The game was originally a DECA project for William Chrisman High School graduate Taylor Perry. This year, his mother Cindy, the DECA sponsor at Chrisman, organized the event.
Although the game was free, donations were accepted for FosterAdopt Connect, a Jackson County agency, and patrons could also drop off school supplies for Eastern Jackson County students in need.
“This win means everything to us,” said Myers, a member of the Crime Scene Investigation unit. “We want to beat the fire department, we got that little rivalry going in everything – it’s kind of like picking on your little brother.”
Although the fire department took an early 4-2 lead, the cop squad stormed back to pick up its second consecutive win.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever hit one out of Crysler,” Myers added, “my dad didn’t think I could do it, so I had that added motivation.”
Independence detective Chris Burris was also thrilled with the victory that came on a field that was scorched by the midday sun.
“It got pretty hot out there,” Burris said, “but the game was a lot of fun. We’re usually on the same side as the firefighters, but today, we were able to get another win and that’s great. I think we’re going to see if next year’s game could be played in the evening – or maybe in October or November.”
As Burris and Myers walked off the field, someone asked the Fort Osage grad if he was going to keep the softball as a memento.
“No,” Myers said, with a shrug, “it’s just too darned hot to walk all the way out there to get it.”
Liz Ross Luce, the director of philanthropy for FosterAdopt Connect, braved the heat to hand out literature on the Eastern Jackson County program.
And she had a special thank you for the first responders.
“As first responders, all of you are the people that see the children we work with at their worst,” she said. “Every day you all make sure our kids are safe. At FosterAdopt Connect, we are only continuing the work you’ve already begun. We are working to ensure that all children are able to grow up in a safe and loving family environment, free of abuse and neglect.
“All of the players who took the field Saturday give so much to the community already, and FosterAdopt Connect is incredibly thankful that you sacrificed your own personal time to help even more in positively impacting the lives of abused and neglected children.
“FosterAdopt Connect would like to say thank you to the Independence Police and Fire Departments, William Chrisman High School, and everyone that came out to Crysler Stadium for the game, and to support FosterAdopt Connect (even though death by sun was a real possibility.)
“FosterAdopt Connect would not be able to do the work we do for children and families without a community like ours, and without each of you.”