• From left: Johnathan Patton, Vilseck High School assistant baseball coach; students Brenda Loveless, Hiro Kambayashi and Andrew Loveless; Kathy Aydt, deputy garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria; and Emily Walton, athletic director at VHS, pose with some of the bats and gloves donated the high school's baseball team by Major League pitcher Heath Bell, Dec. 18.

    Batting a thousand

    From left: Johnathan Patton, Vilseck High School assistant baseball coach; students Brenda Loveless, Hiro Kambayashi and Andrew Loveless; Kathy Aydt, deputy garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria; and Emily Walton, athletic director at VHS...

  • Hiro Kambayashi, 18, who plays catcher on the Vilseck High School baseball team, tries out one of the bats Heath Bell donated, Dec. 18.

    Slugger

    Hiro Kambayashi, 18, who plays catcher on the Vilseck High School baseball team, tries out one of the bats Heath Bell donated, Dec. 18.

VILSECK, Germany -- The baseball team at Vilseck High School is poised to play like pros, thanks to a recent donation by Major League Baseball pitcher Heath Bell.

Bell personally gave two portable batting cages, several boxes of different sized bats and gloves to the team. He was assisted by Bob Brenly, an Arizona Diamondback commentator, who wrapped and shipped the equipment to U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria.

Bell donated the equipment shortly after his visit to USAG Bavaria in February as part of Fox Sport's Spring Training to the Troops.

The event brought current and past MLB stars to the garrison where they did PT, a Commander's Challenge and played wiffleball with local Soldiers.

While visiting the DoDDS schools and speaking with students, Bell realized that the high school needed basic baseball equipment.

And they did. Before the donation, the team had three bats, no gloves and one batting cage.

The donation has made an especially big impact this year.

Heavy cuts across DoDDS mean that the athletic department at VHS has zero money in their budget.

"It can be very challenging for our kids overseas," said USAG Bavaria Deputy Garrison Commander Kathy Aydt. "We are thrilled that Heath Bell has taken such an interest in them. Our Soldiers make a lot of sacrifices, but so do our kids."

Senior Hiro Kambayashi, catcher on the VHS team, took a few practice swings, trying out the different bats. He turned to his teammate, Andrew Loveless, 16, and nodded his approval.

"These bats are great," said Kambayashi.

Assistant baseball coach Johnathan Patton thanked Bell for thinking of his team.

"We would love for him to come back and watch our kids play," he said.

Page last updated Thu December 19th, 2013 at 00:00