Hoping to commemorate the life of slain Little League baseball player Christina-Taylor Green, Canyon del Oro Little League officials created a shirt patch.
When word of the patches got out nationally, board member Caroline Auza said a lot of people wanted to buy them, so the league decided to sell them for $3.92 and donate $1 per patch to the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. The 9-year-old was the youngest victim of the Jan. 8 shootings that left six dead and 13 wounded.
Thanks in part to e-mails sent out by the national Little League Baseball office in South Williamsport, Pa., the league fielded calls from all over the country - from youth baseball and softball teams, and even some college programs. One of the calls came from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, Auza said. And The New York Times ran a picture of the patch in a story.
Now the league has sold more than 5,000 patches, and that number could more than double because a league in California is considering an order of 7,000 patches.
"It's an overwhelming response," Auza said.
Christina-Taylor's baseball roots run deep. She played for the CDO Little League's Pirates in fall of 2009 and 2010. Her father, John Green, is a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers and a former UA pitcher. Her grandfather, Dallas Green, is a former major league manager and executive.
Christina-Taylor's parents said in a joint statement via e-mail that they're honored by the patch.
"Christina loved baseball and one of her many ambitions was to be the first woman to play in the major leagues," the couple said. "Our hope is that these patches will inspire and motivate these young ballplayers to help fulfill Christina's dreams."
Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org