Reds Prospect Michael Trautwein wins first Crushin’ For A Cause Celebrity Home Run Derby!

February 2, 20240

Scores of spectators braved the cold, wet weather on January 28 to support 6-4-3 baseball alum and Braves Prospect Tyler Tolve and his lineup of professional hitters and VIPs as they sailed baseballs over the fence at the first Crushin’ For A Cause home run derby. The event, hosted in conjunction with The 6-4-3 Foundation and SagerStrong Foundation, was at Aviation Sports Complex in Marietta and featured a 3-round home run derby, silent auction, and player autographs and raised more than $13,000. In all, there were 94 dingers hit in the derby!

Tolve pulled together players from 8 organizations to compete in the home run derby. He said of the players, “This is such an amazing baseball community… so willing to give of their time to do this in the offseason.” After the preliminary round, free agent Jaylen Smith and the Cardinals’ Noah Mendlinger went head-to-head on one side of the semi-final bracket and hit 5 and 8 home runs respectively. The Rangers’ Josh Hatcher and Reds’ Michael Trautwein competed on the other side of the semi-final bracket and sent 5 and 8 balls over the fence respectively. Tolve and two others participated in a metal bat round just for fun between the semi-final and final rounds.

Mendlinger and Trautwein, two local North Fulton products with 8 and 10 home runs in the semi-finals respectively, faced off in the final round. Trautwein edged out his competition with 9 homers in the finals to Mendlinger’s 8. “I’m thankful to have been able to participate in this year’s Crushin’ For A Cause,” said Trautwein. “It was a cool opportunity to help contribute to SagerStrong Foundation and The 6-4-3 Foundation through the sport we play and love,” he added. “The atmosphere was exciting and the fans were electric from start to finish. I can’t thank Tyler enough for putting this event on…and a thank you to everyone involved for making it such an experience!”

In addition to those mentioned, the following were also in attendance: Michael Chavis, Mariners; Payton Eeles, Chicago Dogs; Bryson Horne, Braves; Jonathan Hughes, Braves; Brant Hurter, Tigers; Justyn-Henry Malloy, Tigers; Brandon Parker, Braves; Beau Philip, Braves; and Carson Taylor, Phillies.

The desire behind the event came from Tolve’s own family’s experience fighting cancer as well as an event a few years ago in support of 6-4-3 player Carson Rozsman. When Tolve was in high school, his father, John, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. “It was a tough time for the family,” Tolve recalls. “My dad went through a year of treatment, both chemo and radiation, and spent two weeks in the ICU after a procedure. But thank God that is all behind him now.” In addition, his great uncle battled leukemia. Around that same time, Carson Rozsman was battling brain cancer and the 6-4-3 family came together to host a successful home run derby in support of him.

Throughout the afternoon on January 28, patrons bid on autographed items from the event participants as well as items sporting MLB player autographs such as Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, and Dansby Swanson. One lucky fan won a bat, custom made for the event, with each participant’s autograph! Tasty treats from The Cheezy Truck and DonutNV along with music and interviews rounded out the ballpark atmosphere.

“Crushin’ For A Cause was an unbelievable experience for myself and all participants,” said Tolve. “We exceeded all expectations, had a blast, and look forward to next year’s event. I hope to make Crushin’ For A Cause an annual event with the help of The 6-4-3 Foundation and SagerStrong Foundation.”

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