By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
PITTSBURG, Kan. —
One would think that last year’s inaugural Tyler Jeck Foundation game would be hard to top for Stuart Jeck.
Last July 3, in the first game that honored his late brother, Stuart Jeck blasted a memorable eighth-inning home run that helped the Nevada Griffons beat the Joplin Outlaws.
But Stuart Jeck said Year 2 was better, even being sidelined with a torn labrum.
“This is probably even better than the first year. Being a whole year later, or two years later after the incident, it’s nice to know people are still thinking about him,” he said. “It means a lot for our family for people to still come out here.”
Tyler Jeck, like his brother a St. Mary’s-Colgan graduate, died in July 2011 in an accident on Beaver Lake.
Last year’s game raised $4,500 for the foundation. On Wednesday, Brad Snow and Steve Sloan unveiled a check for $53,000. The funds were raised over the last year and go toward three main areas — a scholarship for a St. Mary’s-Colgan senior, scholarships for youth sports camps and donations to the Baker University baseball program, of which Tyler was a member.
“With all the support we’ve had, it makes it easier in that manner,” Stuart Jeck said. “As you can see out here, we’ve had tremendous support. With time, you get stronger. You deal with things better and there are certain ways to get over certain feelings. As a family we’re doing all right.”
Stuart Jeck played two seasons at Fort Scott Community College and one season at West Virginia before transferring to Rockhurst University last summer.
His torn labrum kept him off the field this season. He underwent surgery four months ago but said on Wednesday that he’ll be good to go for the 2014 season.
“I’m feeling really good. I started throwing about a month earlier than I was supposed to,“ he said. “I’ll be ready, for sure, by spring time. Hopefully I can do some good things and see where it goes from there.”