MEMPHIS, Tenn. — El Paso’s minor league baseball team, the Chihuahuas, took the field against the Redbirds in Memphis Monday night, but their thoughts were back home, because of this weekend’s tragedy. Twenty-two people were killed and dozens were injured when a shooter opened fire at Walmart.
The players say they’re hurting. Some of them are angry.
“You don’t go shoot up a civilian Walmart and take a bunch of lives,” pitcher Dillon Overton said.
Other players are in shock. The team hasn’t been home since the shooting happened. Their next home game is Wednesday.
“I think it will set in for the guys when I assume we do the moment of silence our first game back in El Paso after the off day,” pitcher Eric Yardley said.
Overton’s wife and kids were at that Walmart the day before. “They’re my world. So, if something happened to them, I don’t know what I’d be able to do.”
This is his third season pitching for the Chihuahuas, and he dedicated Tuesday night’s start to the victims and their families.
“I was more so throwing for them.”
Authorities identified the shooter as Patrick Crusius. They say the 21-year-old previously wrote a manifesto that denounces the rising Hispanic population in Texas.
“Anytime you think of the fact that there are lives being taken for, in my opinion no reason, it’s always going to be hard to think about,” Yardley said.
The team is eager to get back home and help the El Paso community heal.
“Anything we can do to lift them up, give back to it, that’s what we’re going to do,” Overton said.
They hope some baseball can make dark times a little lighter.
“It’s something to take everyone’s mind off it,” Yardley said. “Everybody has a chance to come together.”