LYNN — The Lynn 16-18-year-old Babe Ruth baseball team took care of the hard part on Tuesday evening when it beat Cape Cod to win the New England Regional championship. With the victory, the Lynners, who went 4-1 in the regional tournament, advanced to the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown, New York. Now comes the (hopefully) easy part: putting together the funds to take the trip.
“These guys have put in a lot of work this summer to make it this far,” said Al Donovan, who coaches Lynn alongside Leon Elwell. “Not many teams can say they’ve made it to the World Series, these guys are one of the best teams in the country. But, going to the World Series means paying a lot of money for transportation and travel, so we’re asking the community to help us out.”
The Babe Ruth World Series opens up August 4 and runs through August 11. The Lynners will make the trip down to Jamestown August 1, meaning there’s only six more days to raise funds for the trip. The national Babe Ruth League organization pays for the cost of one-way transportation to the World Series, but then it’s up to the team to pay for hotel costs, the transportation back to Lynn and other necessities.
“If we play well and continue to advance, there’s a chance we could be there as many as nine days,” Donovan said. “When you have such a big group away from home for so long, costs start to add up over time.”
In order to try to offset the costs associated with the trip, Lynn native and professional hockey goalie Katie Burt helped the Lynners by starting up a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/lynn-world-series-fund) so people can donate. It’s going to be a tight squeeze raising the funds, as there are only five days remaining before the team leaves for Jamestown.
“Obviously, when you make it to the World Series it’s not a planned thing, so everyone is in a bit of a bind right now,” said Donovan. “Kids and parents have to take off work, everyone has to rework their schedules. That goes the same for getting together funds. We’re kind of squeezed for time since we just won on Tuesday, now we have to get the money together in just over a week.”
So the team is asking for help from the community. Parents, coaches and players have reached out to various local businesses and other entities asking for help with sponsorship in addition to the GoFundMe page. The team hopes to raise between $8,000 and $10,000 to cover all costs and any other unforeseen expenditures that may come up on the trip.
“We’re just trying to make this a successful trip for the kids,” Donovan said. “These guys work hard, not only on the field but also in their daily lives. A lot of these kids work in addition to playing ball, and to ask them to pay so much for a trip like this would be a shame. We’re hoping that the community will rise to the challenge and help us out.”
All donations can be made at the team’s GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/lynn-world-series-fund.