Baseball Showdown for a good cause

Troy Aikman (left), co-founder of Child Life Zones, with one of his foundation’s patients. Photo courtesy of CSU baseball.

When was the last time you did something nice for another person? When you donated time or money for a good cause? Even if it was yesterday, there is no such thing as too much good karma.

Nick Childs, Colorado State’s head baseball coach, is always looking toward the horizon for another opportunity to help those in need. This Saturday at 10:45 a.m., he and his team are hosting their third annual cancer-related fundraiser. The last two brought in $8,000 towards breast cancer research over the past two fall seasons.


This weekend’s cause hits very close to home for Childs. His second cousin, 8-year-old Lance Gorton, was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia last July. Since then, he has been receiving treatment from Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth Texas.

Gorton’s hospital is partnered with a program called Teammates for Kids, which builds Child Life Zones in children’s hospitals throughout the United States, including Denver.

“When I asked his mom what foundation would be the best to give to, she said Child Life Zones because they have helped Lance feel like a kid again,” Childs said. “It always means more when it’s family, but they also have a branch in Denver, so that brings in the local aspect, which we always shoot for.”

Child Life Zones was founded by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, as well as country legend Garth Brooks. They started the project to give sick children and their families a sanctuary to escape to during their time in the hospital. Each zone is staffed by certified professionals and furnished with state-of-the-art therapeutic equipment.

Childs decided to use the biggest platform he could think of to raise money to keep the foundation going — a Rocky Mountain Showdown. The Colorado Buffaloes are coming to City Park for a three-game weekend series with a doubleheader slated for Sunday. In the event that Sunday’s games are cancelled due to weather, Childs noted that the Rams will continue to accept donations until make-up games are played on a date yet to be decided.

Because Child Life Zones was originally funded by famous athletes pledging money based upon game performance, Saturday’s donors will pledge an undisclosed amount for each hit the Rams slam in, bringing a deeper level of meaning to butting heads with the intrastate rivals. Spectators can also contribute via a silent auction and t-shirt sales.

“It means a lot, especially against a team like Boulder, which you always want to do well against,” sophomore Mike Medina said. “It’s a great feeling knowing you are not only making a difference for your team, but for kids that are in need.”

Gorton will be making the trip all the way from Fort Worth to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, so using commute as a cop-out won’t cut it. What is better than spring baseball game against the state’s biggest foe with a forecast of 72 degrees? Come out and support the baseball team for a more-than-worthy cause.

“Childs tells us to focus on the game, but in the long run to remember what this means for someone like his cousin or kids who are affected by cancer,” club president Brett Bogner said. “It really gives the guys pride and extra incentive to play well for a good cause.”

Collegian Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at and on Twitter @c_rasta5.
Rocky Mountain Showdown weekend
Who: CSU vs CU
Where: City Park
When: 11 a.m. Saturday, 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday
Cost: Free
Why: Fundraiser for Child Life Zones