Anyone who knows me — or if you have seen me around town — understands there’s a good shot you know I am a big baseball fan.

I played my entire life until I went to college, but the love of the game stayed with me. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the USA Warriors play their first home game of 2021.

The Warriors were started by Juan Adriatico, who played baseball at Lander and Erskine in the early 2000s. He started it to combine his love of baseball and service, as he served as an Army chaplain for 15 years after his playing career ended.

The Warriors were founded for U.S. veterans to continue to play the game of baseball. It has changed a little since then, as most of the current players didn’t serve in the military, but some of their family does. Now the Warriors work to provide their players job opportunities alongside playing the game.

When I found out about the Warriors in September, I knew I had to meet the team and go to at least one game. Like Adriatico, the Warriors combine two of my passions: baseball and military life.

When I was born, my father was in the tail end of his 26-year military career. My parents and brother were in California when I was born, but we quickly moved to Missouri, where my father wrapped up his career as the chief mechanic for the B2 Bombers.

My father’s military career really hit me when I got older, as he started to tell me more about his career. It really hit me when my family took a trip to California, where we visited a museum at Patrick Air Force Base, and my father took us through all the planes he worked on in his career.

Last weekend, I spent a couple of hours with the Warriors, watching them play the Myrtle Beach Stars, who they swept. The Warriors were having fun during the entire game. It was just a relaxing way to spend a Saturday.

If you have an opportunity to check out the Warriors, I suggest you watch Adriatico and the Warriors.

Contact sports writer Cody Estremera at 864-943-2530.

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