The tragedy that took place last Wednesday at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is not one for me to put into words. However, here at Minor League Ball, I have decided to jump on a developing story surrounding Oakland A’s bright pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo.

Luzardo, a 20-year old drafted in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals and since dealt to the A’s, is a terrific prospect in his own right.

But we’re not here for baseball. Not this time.

The youngster has called Parkland, Florida home for 18 years —his family moved from Peru when he was one year old— and graduated from Stoneman Douglas High School in 2016.

Unfortunately, his high school was the latest site of a school shooting, one that took 17 lives. Luzardo has started a YouCaring fundraiser page and threw a first pitch strike with a powerful message.

I’m writing this with a heavy heart, as Parkland is somewhere I have been lucky enough to call home for the past 18 years of my life. It is a special place where I have made friendships that will last a lifetime and I have made memories that will forever be embedded in my mind. I made relationships with people that I now consider family.

 

One of the lives lost was Athletic Director Chris Hixon, who was a special influence in Luzardo’s life on and off the baseball diamond during his time as an Eagle.

The donation page is dedicated in the name of Hixon’s family, his wife Debbie and his sons Cory and Tommy.

We can’t get the victims back, but we can honor their memory and legacy. Luzardo wants to do it, we can help.

Another active MLB player, Anthony Rizzo, also attended Stoneman Douglas and returned home after the tragedy to deliver a tearful vigil.

The story is obviously hard to swallow, much less comprehend. And I won’t try to do it here. But the least I can do is donate and pass the message along.

To donate, visit Jesus Luzardo’s YouCaring page here. #DouglasStrong

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