ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Baseball season doesn’t start until Spring but Northwestern Red Raiders has just a new recruit, who’s only seven-years-old.
‘What gets you excited?”
“Playing games with you guys.”
Chad Rutledge signed his official Letter of Intent to play for the baseball team in a Draft Day ceremony.
“He will be present at some practices, games, team dinners, and more. Serving not only as our teammate but as an inspiration for our guys,” said head coach, Brian Wede.
Rutledge, from Sioux Center, underwent a partial right foot amputation from an accident years ago, and Team IMPACT helped connected Chad with Northwestern’s baseball team.
The organization helps children who are faced with difficult illnesses form lasting connections and memories with college teams.
The first thing he wants to do with his teammates is…
“Play games with them,” said Chad.
“What kind of games?”
“Ping-pong and pool,” said Chad.
Even though Chad just signed with the baseball team, he has already made an impact on his teammates.
“It’s honestly so exciting to see him here. We’re glad we can be here for him, have him be a part of the team, and have him be by us when we travel throughout the season. I feel like it’s going to be a cool experience for us and also for him. I’m excited about it,” said Alec Rickabaugh, Red Raiders pitcher.
“It’s a group of guys that has hung out with him so far, I mean, it’s just complete excitement. We were just laughing the whole time and a bunch of smiles and just a great time. So, lots of energy,” said Issac Thurm, Red Raiders catcher.