SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College baseball team, partnered with Team IMPACT, welcomed honorary teammate John Hart on Monday in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union.
Members of the Pride and the Hart family gathered next to the stairs in the Union for John’s Draft Day.
He is battling a Gastrointestinal Disorder while being an active member of the Pride — faithfully attending team practices, games and even getting a couple swings in himself on the side.
“We’re proud to be one of the many teams involved on campus with Team IMPACT,” Springfield head coach Mark Simeone said. “We’re happy to have (John) in the dugout. Since the day we met John, he’s made a tremendous impact on the coaches and the players in our program.”
Simeone finished his opening remarks before handing the microphone to Jake Gleason and Jack Cooney, who expressed their pleasure for having “John Boy” as a part of the team. Hart proceeded to put the pen to paper and signed his official Letter of Intent to become a member of the baseball team.
“It’s been a pleasure having John Boy as part of the team,” outfielder Jake Gleason said.
Hart is the 13th active Team IMPACT teammate to be paired with Springfield College, which is the most among Division-III schools across the country.
“I think I can speak for the whole team here when I say we’re so excited that Draft Day is here,” Cooney said.
The Leadership Impact Group among the team includes Mark Serrichio, Eddie Martinez and Jack Simonetty in addition to Cooney and Gleason.
“The best teammates are the ones that make those around them better. Everyone in our baseball program is better for having you as a teammate John,” Simeone said as he glanced at the 6-year-old sitting next to him at the podium.
Upon signing his letter, Hart received an honorary stud bolt to celebrate the Pride’s newest teammate. He smiled while several cameras snapped photos of he and his teammates.
“I can see the smile when he comes in every day, wearing a different pair of shades,” Gleason said. “I think he’s made an impact on us as much as we’ve made an impact on him.”
Photo courtesy Jack Margaros