BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) - The Baldwin County High School baseball team left a vacancy in centerfield on the first pitch of its game Thursday, in tribute to Ty Drinkard, who died last year in a car crash on Father's Day.
After the first pitch, the Tigers called timeout and subbed in a ninth player.
"Baseball was a great part of [Ty's] life and if you knew the kid then you know that everything he did he did with passion," Head Coach Kyle Hunter said.
Drinkard, who would have been a junior at Baldwin County High School, was an integral part of the Tigers baseball team. Hunter called him the team's sparkplug, using Thursday's tribute to celebrate the positive impact Drinkard had on the team.
"Everyday you come out to the field and you're around these guys, you remember Ty being here with them, being apart of these guys," Hunter said. "If there was one thing about that kid that you could say is that he was a competitor and everything was fun."
Drinkard's family began a foundation in Ty's name after the crash last year and have since donated to schools and child advocacy centers, among other places. Prior to the tribute for Ty, they donated $500 to the baseball team.