Hartsville brings in baseball teams from around the region - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Invitational raises funds for family

Hartsville brings in baseball teams from around the region

In memory of Baylor Teal In memory of Baylor Teal
Baylor's dad with team Baylor's dad with team

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Sports tourism is growing in the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee. On Sunday, the city of Hartsville hosted its largest travel baseball tournament at Byerly Park. It wasn't just an ordinary tournament; the boys were playing for a cause. There were 35 teams from around the state that came to raise money for the Baylor Prayer Endowment and the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital.

This is all for seven-year-old Baylor Teal, who lost his life five years ago to neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. His parents started the BaylorBall Invitational travel tournament this year in his memory.

Baylor's parents say they even had to turn teams down who wanted to play, so next year they are planning to have a two-weekend tournament. Rob Teal, Baylor's dad and coach says, “Just to see the response we had from the other parents and players about how they wanted to come play in his memory and for the Children’s Hospital, I really can’t even describe how much it means to all of us.”

He says the whole community has rallied around the family the past five years, and are thankful for Byerly Park to host this invitational for them. Phil Gardener, Director of the City of Hartsville Parks & Leisure Services says, “It’s been a privilege that the Teals came to us and said we want to do this. They’ve moved to Hartsville so they’ve adopted Hartsville as their home and now Byerly Park as their home, and we are just pleased to be a part of it.”

With each swing of the bat, the teams knew this was for more than just a win. “Nothing makes me feel better than when someone comes up to me and says that Baylor meant something to him or he touched their lives. It just means a lot.”

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