OWASSO, Okla. — An 11-year-old Owasso boy is fairly new to the game of baseball, and he’s already looking forward to the fall baseball season.
FOX23 sat down with Alexander Bolding’s grandfather on the child’s love for the game, and the lengths his grandfather went to make sure Alex and his team had a place to practice.
“I took Alexander to his first baseball practice in a drainage ditch of an addition in Collinsville,” said Jerry “Poppy” Compton, Alex’s grandfather. “And they were using Styrofoam lids for bases.”
FOX23 first introduced viewers to Alex four years ago when he was in the middle of treatment for Medulloblastoma — a rare type of brain cancer.
Now, he’s working hard to achieve his plan to play for the Collinsville Dodgers this fall.
“[The coaches] both said, ‘man, I wish we had something better,’' explained Compton. “And I said, ‘well, I’ve got some flat land. Let me see what I can do.’ So I talked to Alexander and he was all in.”
Alexander told FOX23 the idea was all his, but it didn’t take much to sell the idea to his grandfather.
“He says ‘Well that’s actually a good idea. We should build a baseball field,’” Alexander said. “So then the next day we start working on it.”
Compton added, “[Alexander] helped me with most of it after the tractor work and it went from there.”
“The first time the kids came out here, I saw the looks on their faces, and their parents’ [faces],” said Compton. “And I thought they don’t have to win games, they’re just so happy being out here. They were amazed they had real bases, it was just a fun, fun time.”
The Collinsville Dodgers are a mix of boys between 11-years-old and 13-years-old. Alexander told FOX23 five of them had never played baseball before.
“Fortunately, we had a couple of good pitchers and that kind of helped us out in the beginning, but the kids improved from game one to the end of the season,” Compton explained. “Probably better than any other team I’d seen.”
Alexander told FOX23 the number he chose on his baseball jersey was special as well.
“Five, Braxton’s number,” Alexander said.
Braxton was Alexander’s friend while both boys received cancer treatments through St. Jude.
“Back when he was at St. Jude, Braxton was one of his baseball buddies. Braxton taught Alexander the game, taught him about throwing [and] hitting,” Compton said.
Sadly, Braxton died, but Alex carries his friend’s memory with him whenever he’s on the field.
“It’s just a special thing for number five. Braxton is playing baseball in Heaven right now,” Compton said. “He was a special kid. Remarkable.”
Compton told FOX23 he’s talked with the Dodgers’ coaches, and practices for fall baseball start in about a month. Alexander cannot wait.
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