ATLANTA — Life may seem unfair in the batter’s box when Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is on the mound blowing away big league hitters.
But for Grainne and Clay Owen of Marietta, Ga. — who lost their 9-year-old son, Killian, to Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2003 — and parents like them, the unfairness of life can’t be measured.
Kimbrel decided he wanted to do something to try and level the playing field. He found the perfect vehicle in Curing Kids’ Cancer, a Georgia-based charity started by the Owen family.
“I’ve been looking around for a charity in the Atlanta area to be a part of, and my agent ran across them,” he said. “My agent knows [ESPN college football analyst] Lee Corso’s son, and that’s how we got involved with it. As soon as I met them and saw what they’re all about, I was 100 percent on board. I wanted to be a part of it and try to help out and do what I can.”
On Monday, he participated in the seventh annual AT&T Curing Kids’ Cancer Golf Classic in Alpharetta, Ga.
“Grainne and Clay Owen, they lost their son a few years ago. They easily could have said, ‘Let’s move on, put this behind us and live the rest of our lives.’ But they decided they wanted to make a difference, and they have,” said Kimbrel, who is the chairman of Players Curing Kids’ Cancer. “They raise thousands of dollars every year for coming up with new medicine for leukemia, and they’ve done a great job. It’s great to just be a part of it and try to make a difference.”
The Braves closer joined Corso, Georgia State head football coach Bill Curry and former NFL star and University of Alabama legend Cornelius Bennett at the event, which raised $260,000, pushing it over the $1 million-raised mark in its seven years.
It was a great day all-around for Kimbrel, a big college football fan and a huge follower of the Crimson Tide, and one he’s sure to be involved in down the road.
But Kimbrel’s fight against childhood cancer won’t be limited to one golf tournament. He’s bringing the fight to work with him. The fireballer will be donating $25 for every strikeout (so far he has 23, in 13 innings pitched) and $100 for every save (he has an NL-leading 11 in 12 tries).
“I have it on my website just so people can watch it and watch it go up,” he said. “My idea is to hopefully get other players involved and let them get involved in an organization and be a part of it as well.”
To watch Kimbrel’s totals go up, visit craigkimbrel.com. For more information on Curing Kids’ Cancer, go to www.curingkidscancer.org.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Author: Carroll Rogers