EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — A local baseball team is mourning the loss of one of their own. 13-year-old Ryne Phillips died last Sunday from medical complications.
Sunday the Highland Challenger League dedicated their last game to him.
From a moment of silence at the start, to a big tribute at the end, the Highland Challenger League had an emotional day.
“It’s been a tough week for us but we’re playing for Ryne today. The place is decorated in blue that was Ryne’s favorite color.”
For the last four years, Ryne Phillips had taken the field with his friends, his teammates.
“He was just a bubbly kid. He was happy,” Owen George said.
But that happy and bubbly teen died after a life long struggle of seizures. His teammates say they played this game for him.
“It was an honor to do it for him,” George told us.
He said the day they found out Ryne was gone something was different.
“When he said go to the outfield for a picture I kind of knew something was up,” Geoge said.
In the five years of the league, they’ve never experienced the loss of a player. During this game, they remembered the time they spent on the field with Ryne.
“Ryne was a competitor. When he came to the ballpark he took it seriously. When he came his smile came with him and he was just a big part of our program,” Matt Pokorney said.
Even though playing without him was hard.
“We all miss him,” George said.
“We’re playing through it. The kids they know what’s going on they understand one of our players has passed away. This will be an emotional day for all of us,” Pokorney said.
During the last pitch, of the last game of the season, they took a moment to remember and pay their respects to the 13-year-old boy who loved playing baseball.
Since Ryne had medical problems from birth, he didn’t qualify for life insurance.
His family has started a GoFundMe to help pay medical bills and funeral expenses. You can find that here.