Baseball game to benefit injured officer

Brick City Blast to play Dayton Police in wood bat game

Staff Report

DAYTON — The Huber Heights based Brick City Blast 15U Baseball Team (Blast Gives Back Program) is hosting its Second Annual Appreciation Game this season “Battle for Branch” on June 22 at 6 p.m. at Action Sports Complex, 1103 Gateway Dr., Dayton for a Dayton Police Officer who was injured while on duty in December 2016.

There is no better way to unite our community than by having a good old fashioned American ball game. The Brick City Blast 15U select baseball team will be playing the Dayton Police Department softball team in a wood bat baseball game. All are invited and encouraged to attend a night of baseball, food, entertainment (featuring American Idol semifinalist Alexis Gomez), many raffle giveaways, and most importantly, to show your support for our local heroes. All proceeds for the event will go to Dayton Police Officer Byron Branch.

Byron Branch was outside of his cruiser at a crash scene in Dayton due to icy roadways when another driver lost control and struck him. Another Dayton Police Officer was present and rendered immediate aid to Officer Branch by using part of his police uniform. Branch sustained serious and life altering injuries and, in order to save his life, doctors were forced to amputate Byron’s right leg.

Officer Branch has been with the Dayton Police Department since April, 2016, and was a member of the 104th police class at the Dayton Police Academy. Officer Branch is the sole provider for his wife, Brittany, and infant daughter. Branch lives his life by the following quote “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

To name some interesting facts about Officer Branch – he is a national level fencing competitor, is fluent in German, played in a heavy metal rock band for years, and taught communications at Wright State University. Officer Branch also had a love for baseball. He started playing baseball when he was 9 and played until he was 19. He played on several local teams including the Springfield Indians and was always selected to play on the All Star teams each season he played. Branch was a pitcher, third baseman and shortstop. He was known for being left-handed, having six pitches and getting on base, having a .711 on base percentage one season and over a .400 batting average each year.

This will be Brick City Blast Baseball/Blast Gives Back Second Annual Appreciation Game “Battle for Branch,” which will also be a fundraiser to help Officer Byron Branch and his family with costs accumulated after his injuries. Everyone is invited to attend this game.

Blast Gives Back will be selling ballpark meals for $5 and will be raffling baskets that evening, and all proceeds will go to Officer Branch for assistance with his road to recovery. To also show support for the Police, Fire and our Military Community, Blast Gives Back will be providing a free ballpark dinner for any Police Officers, Firefighters, and Military that come out to the “Battle for Branch” game.

We hope to see you out for a night of baseball, food and, most importantly, to show your support for our local heroes and Officer Byron Branch.

There is a rainout game scheduled for Thursday June 29 at 6 p.m.

Blast Gives Back is a program within the Brick City Blast Baseball Club Organization that has the following mission and vision. MISSION: Empowering student athletes to give back to their communities through service. VISION: To help our student athletes see the impact they can make on others through service and the result those efforts can have, not only on themselves, but on our community.

Over the past year Blast Gives Back has volunteered with local nursing homes organizing craft nights, bingo nights, Christmas caroling and celebrating birthdays with residents. They have also worked with the Dayton Honor Flight, United Rehabilitation Services, the United States Marines with the local Toys 4 Tots distribution, and are a “Buddy Team” for a local Little League Challenger Team.

Bring a chair and come support a great cause!
Brick City Blast to play Dayton Police in wood bat game

Staff Report