Hello Sabres Family,
I hope all is well with your families as we start another fun packed baseball and softball season here at Academy Sabres.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of watching many of your kids grow up and playing the different sports offered by Academy Sabres. I've
truly enjoyed watching and participating with your kids.
A lot of families, especially those new to Sabres, have no idea about our Jimmy. Over the years, both kids and parents have asked me just
what happened. All they see is a field named for him and a photo on a sign, not
knowing Jimmy’s story.
I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to him, in words and pictures, so you can see the many faces of our Jimmy.
Jimmy played for Sabres for only three years. In those years he played baseball, basketball and one very short soccer season. After school he
would change, grab his glove, bat and ball and go knock for his best buddy,
Billy Rooney. He could not wait to play in the backyard. Mr. Webster gave him the nickname "Hollywood”.
because whenever he made a play during the game, he made sure everyone knew it.
Jimmy loved playing basketball while his older
sisters Jacci and Jamie were the cheerleaders on the sidelines. Yes... Sabres
used to offer cheerleading as option for young ladies… pom poms and everything! They
were so cute!
Jimmy loved playing street hockey, especially with our neighbor Eddie Hearn. Even a game of Freedom with the big kids made Jimmy feel
like one of the guys.
Jimmy was six years old when he passed away. We were overwhelmed with love and support from our police family, our church family, our neighbors, andespecially our Sabres family. Jimmy was not a sick child. The doctors said it
was a seizure that took him that night. He was in school that day with no
complaints, not even a sick stomach.
Jimmy was laid to rest in his Academy Sabres baseball uniform. His service was standing room only in Saint Anselm Church. It really
made our family think about how special Jimmy was, and how many lives he
This week marks twenty years since Jimmy left us. After he passed, the Sabres training league was named for him. The initials "JBL" stands for Jimmy
Benedick League, not junior baseball league. Jimmy’s field is now in a place
once known as “the swamp”. After fifteen years of red tape and hard work by
many people, we were able to dedicate “Jimmy’s Field Of Dreams”. Hurricane
Sandy took down his sign, but this spring it will return… and Jimmy will again
be able to watch over all of the kids at Sabres.
We hope you enjoy these photos of our Jimmy, and his story. We ask that you keep him in your prayers on April 8th. Jimmy ran
around those fields like he owned them, getting dirty and sweaty and loving every minute.
Twenty years is a lifetime ago…
Please enjoy and cherish this time with your kids. Lift them up. Encourage them in everything they do. Get involved, and most of all… HUG
THEM, KISS THEM AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM EVERY DAY AND EVERY NIGHT.
Love… Pinky, Butch, Jacci, Jamie and Jerry