Ben Lippen Baseball Players Experience Life Lessons Visit To Cuba
By CHRIS DEARING
Columbia--Ben Lippen baseball players learned more about life lessons than baseball during a recent trip to Cuba.
The Falcon players were taken on a whirlwind four-day trip that many in the United State will ever experience. Coach Jonathan Johnson, a former major league pitcher and two-time All-American at Florida State, help found Honoring the Father Ministries in 1996. He takes 6-8 trips annually to Cuba but the one with his Ben Lippen team is probably the most enjoyable.
The 25 players and invited guests transported 50 pound bags that contained bats, 300 gloves from Wilson and 100 dozen baseballs along with any other equipment needed to cover the 110 Christian sports teams in Cuba that also covers dance, soccer, softball and volleyball.
“It’s a culture shock when they first get there. The houses these people live in, the food they’re eating, the clothes they’re wearing and the gloves they’re using - if they even have a glove – makes you appreciate things here a little more,” Johnson said. “It opens my guy’s eyes. I think it gives them a greater appreciate for when they step on the field at Ben Lippen with manicured grass, nice dirt and nice fences. These guys in Cuba love the game so much and they have nothing.”
“The goal is they will get to see the culture of Cuba and understand what these people have and what they’re doing with so little.”
The trip hasn’t taken away the success the Falcons have found in the SCISA ranks this season. They are 10-4 and in the mix to be one of the contenders for the upcoming Class AAA playoffs.
Ben Lippen is led by Tyler Estridge, Tripp Williams, Garett Summers, Nat Turner and Robert Satcher offensively. Estridge is hitting .590 with six doubles and three triples. Williams is at .481
Turner has been the top pitcher. He’s 6-0 with a 1.75 ERA, 40 strike outs and eight walks in 32 innings pitched