In response to Gunnar Sandberg’s recent injury, the tournament organizers of the National Classic have decided to switch to wood bats for this year’s event. The athletic director of Marin Catholic High (Kentsfield, Calif.), a participant in the tournament, sent a proposal to tournament director Steve Gullotti last week. Gullotti forwarded the proposal to participating coaches and received a unanimous response in favor of the switch.
“I had been thinking about it ahead of time,” Gullotti said. “Their athletic director called me and there was no pressure whatsoever. A big part of this was a tribute to their player. We felt the obligation to at least open up the dialogue for further research. Hopefully, down the road, we can make this a wood bat tournament.”
Marin Catholic offered to provide the equipment if the teams agreed to use wood. Each team will be given 15 wood bats for the tournament.
As of Tuesday, March 30, Sandberg had been breathing on his own for over 24 hours. His sister, Kalli, has been blogging updates on CaringBridge.com.
“Another good day for the G man,” she said on March 29. “He is making even more neurological improvements. His right side is really reacting and he won’t let the nurses brush his teeth. Today my dad gave him the home run ball, hit by Tyler Scott in the first wood bat game, to hold and Gunnar grasped onto it and wouldn’t let it go. He is still breathing on his own with out the assistance from the machine …over 24 hours! We are headed in the right direction and I am so proud of my brother for being such a fighter! Thanks again and again for all of your positive thoughts, prayers and blessings!”
The Sandberg family is only releasing statements through their Caring Bridge site, which can be viewed here. Visitors to the site can leave messages and make donations. The family is also selling t-shirts that encourage a switch to wood bats. All proceeds go to the family to help them with medical expenses.
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