Pleasanton baseball second-year head coach Lance Standley announces that in order to be a champion, teams must follow all the ‘Cs’ associated with that title.
Competitive and challenging are at the top of the endless list of c-words needed to become a champion.
Community is another critical word for the Eagles’ ultimate goal of being a champion. The Eagles spent part of the season opener their 13-hour “practice” on Saturday Jan. 30, as part of the community and honors two residents of Pleasanton who are locked in cancer.
Team members presented a pair of bespoke commemorative bats to Derek Lind (68) and Mark Tullos (52) to honor their support for the program and their fight against cancer.
“When I first came in, that was what I wanted to represent the community,” Standley said. “It’s part of ‘Cs’, and when you do all of the above, you win championships. We want to stand behind our community. We want to win for our community, on and off the field.”
The idea for the bats was born in November, when members of the baseball team were scheduled to play in the “Kiss my Bat” tournament in Corpus Christi before it was canceled due to bad weather. Tournament participants will have a bat to present to someone battling cancer.
Nevertheless, members of the Pleasanton Hardball Booster Club still wanted to honor members of the cancer-fighting community. So they raised money to buy two custom Louisville Slugger bats with each of the recipients’ names and a ribbon engraved on them.
Since 2019, Lind has been battling Stage IV Glioblastoma, or brain cancer, which accounts for 15% of primary brain tumors and is malignant, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. His granddaughter, Jayce Krauskopf, presented the bat to him on Saturday.
“I have won a few awards in my life. This was the first time I got a bat, “Lind said over the phone on Tuesday. “This one was very special with my grandson.”
Tullos was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in late October 2020 and leukemia in December. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to the Mayo Clinic, affects the lymphatic system in your body which helps fight disease.
Tullos, a member of the Pleasanton Education Foundation, is close friends with Cole Wiechring’s family, along with Roman Cuevas and Tanner Hollis. He has made it a point to support the three and other children he has known since they were in middle school.
Due to his ongoing battle with Non-Hodgkins and Leukemia, Tullos is wary of going out due to the coronavirus pandemic. The team planned to safely deliver the bat to Tullos. He felt he needed to be there in person to receive the bat after the program went the extra mile to honor him.
“You know, it was very unexpected,” Tullos said. “I was a little surprised. When they told me they had a bat for me, they were just going to bring it to me. I said, ‘No, I want to be there when you present the bats.’ … I felt it was an honor to be there with them, even though I could not shake hands with them and that sort of thing. I felt I had to be there for that moment. I am very honored to receive the bat. ”
Seeing the team take the initiative to represent society in such a way is a source of pride for both Lind and Tullos. They believe it is a testament to Standley’s philosophy as a coach.
“He doesn’t just teach them baseball. He teaches them about life and a sense of community, that we are all together about this, ”said Tullos. “I really like the direction the program is going.”