Before Friday evening's Angels game, Fox Sports Network carried a short video piece on Jon Wilhite visiting Angels Stadium followed by the young accident survivor joining his father on the Angels Live dais with play-by-play broadcaster Rory Markas.
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Wilhite was the former Cal State Fullerton catcher who was in the car April 9 when Courtney Smith, Henry Pearson and Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart were killed after an accident with a suspected drunken driver. Doctors say Wilhite suffered internal decapitation, but his struggle to recover apparently has not changed his upbeat and joking demeanor as witnessed in the Angels pregame.
Could his sunny outlook also have something to do with Fullerton "ball hawk" John Witt taking up the anti-drunken driving cause?
Witt says that over the past 33 years, he has snagged 4,885 baseballs at minor and major league games, many during batting practice but also an amazing amount of foul and homerun balls hitting during actual innings. But now, instead of doing it for his own record-setting glory, Witt wants to grab fouls and dingers for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
It'll basically work like a school jog-a-thon where sponsors will pay, say, a nickle for each ball Witt comes up with. "Let's say I end up catching 200 balls betwee the major league and minor league games that I go to," Witt explains. "If you were to pledge a nickle per ball, you'd end up donating $10 to this cause. If you pledge one dime per ball, that would be $20. And so on. There's a small chance I might catch more than 200 baseballs."
His goal is to raise $10,000 for MADD. You can help him here.