HOUSTON— The focus was on blood donations and legends Thursday night at the Sugar Land Skeeter's play-off game against the Camden Riversharks at Constellation Field.
Donor coaches parked outside the home of the Skeeters minor league ball club to accept blood donations.
Among the special guests were Houston’s 6-year-old rappers Marcus and Marlon, the Official 2 x 2. The identical twins have sickle cell anemia and have struggled with dire health problems. They have required blood transfusions many times.
“They’ve been hospitalized 36 times and Marlon, he almost passed in December,” said Linda Marshall, their aunt.
The boys, along with their 7-year-old cousin, who raps with them, were excited to be invited to throw out a pitch at the game.
The Skeeters blood drive was also of great significance to the team’s general manager and his son Bryce.
“Bryce had a bone marrow transplant and a condition that severely crippled his immune system when he was born,” general manager Chris Jones said.
Over the years Bryce required as many as 80 blood transfusions, he said.
Bryce’s mother, Anna Jones, said she has no doubt blood donors saved her son’s life. Bryce is now a healthy, active boy who enjoys playing little league.
Also on hand at the stadium was country music legend Charley Pride. The Skeeters held their first ever Black Heritage Night and Pride was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Pride used to play professional baseball but the story goes he was always singing and playing guitar on the team bus and got discovered.
Pride said he never played “guitar on the bus, but he had a comb” he used to make musical sounds. He used to be a pitcher in the Negro Leagues. Pride said he was just ahead of greats like Hank Aaron.
Also in attendance were special guests, Jimmy “Toy Cannon” Wynn, who was an Astros Star in the 1960s and 70s, and former Astros first baseman Bob Watson, who returned to the team years later as a general manager.