For the Troops...

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The swing of a bat, the roar of the crowds, the smell of hot dogs on a hot summer day, the game of baseball stirs up a field full of emotions. Emotions the Rockford Riverhawks want to share with our troops overseas.

"We got together with Toni's of Winnebago to start a used baseball equipment drive, collecting bats, gloves, baseballs, etc. for troops. We'll ship them over once we've got a big supply together," says Riverhawks General Manager Mike Babcock.

Babcock says the team heard that many of our local service members play baseball in their off-time, but didn't have enough equipment. Now the Riverhawks are asking the community to help bring a piece of Americana to the sands of Iraq.

"Being able to play a little baseball while they're out in the middle of the desert struggling, missing their families--playing baseball reminds them of the home," says Babcock.

"Anything we can do for them--they're fighting a war for us, and we're lucky enough to play baseball. The least we can do is give them the equipment and let them have fun," says Riverhawks pitcher Kevin Crowley.

So although our troops are based far away, the Riverhawks want to make sure they have everything they need to run some bases and feel a touch of home, if only for a few innings.

Once again, the Riverhawks are looking for any used baseball equipment.

You can drop things off at Marinelli Field or at Toni's of Winnebago at 508 N Elida Street in Winnebago. The donation drive will continue through the end of August.