Earlier this year, you may remember Routine launching a shirt called the "B. Strong Charity Tee". All proceeds made from the sales of the t-shirt would go to supporting the recovery of a Wisconsin native, avid baseball player, and infectiously good-spirited man, Brandon Mantz.
Brandon moved from Milwaukee to Denver, CO at the end of 2018, with his girlfriend (what up, Micki?), job, and a whole new caseload of adventure awaiting him.
But, as we can all attest to, life doesn't always go according to plan.
In December, my husband got the call that his cousin was skiing with a group of friends when he got into an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. I almost said that Brandon "fell victim to a skiing injury", but as you'll learn, that's the farthest thing from the truth.
We all remember the clichÃ© quotes posted on our school's gymnasium walls that said some rendition about getting up more times than you've been knocked down. What those posters didn't explain is how hard it is to get back up. I wish I could find the words to say how inspiring it has been to watch Brandon respond to this obstacle with faith, humor and positivity, but the words escape me and my eyes start to flood. It's an ugly mess.
What's been almost equally as amazing is to see is the support that has constantly been surrounding him on this journey to a new lifestyle. They say that each person is a product of the company that they keep, and I think it can go without saying that the baseball community is some of the best.
One of the many unique things about the baseball community is that it has a way of heckling, while at the same time giving unwavering support. Baseball is a culture that throws shade, celebrates, and empathizes like no other. All parts equally important.
Hopefully with that, I've primed you for my call to action:
This Saturday (July 13th), Brandon will be throwing the opening pitch at the Milwaukee Milkmen game at Routine Field. Go check it out, stick around for some beers, and give the kid hell if the ball is so far as a millimeter outside of the strike zone. He demands it.