A Local Man Plans a Baseball Trip to Those with Disabilities or Battling Illness

May 23, 2018 09:24 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- A Rochester man is organizing what he calls "a trip of a lifetime for those needing a life-line".

Joe Laughton Jr. is sharing his love of baseball with those in need of a little boost.


He is inviting anyone with disabilities or battling illness to join him on a five-day trip to Chicago and Milwaukee to watch his favorite team play; the Minnesota Twins. 

Laughton’s love for the game started when he was 10 years old. “I wanted to keep that feeling in my heart and my soul all the way through my life,” he said.

It’s hard for him to keep track of how many games he's been to. “10 to 20 a year,” said Laughton.

However, this past season, he didn't go to a single one. “I pretty much hibernated,” he said.

Laughton was battling a deep depression. “The first step to beating it is being able to talk about it,” he said. “I’ve come from the dark and I see the light.”

Now, he hopes to bless others with the baseball trip. It’s planned for June 28 to July 2 and will cover 5 games. However, people can join the group at any of the games.

Laughton hopes to bring as many people as possible. 

He extended an invitation to was his high school friend Curtiss Johnson and his son Connor.

“Connor was 13 … the day before Thanksgiving in 2015, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor,” said Johnson.

Two days later, Connor underwent surgery to remove the tumor. After 30 radiation sessions and a year of chemo, Connor is cancer free. 

“It would be a great opportunity to go on a trip like that with other families with kids that have needs and been through tough times,” said Johnson.

Even though the trip is geared towards people like Connor, “If Mike Vick of the St. Paul Saints or Jim Pohlad of the Twins want to join us, the more the merrier," said Laughton.

Anyone interested in joining (or helping with) the trip can contact Joe Laughton Jr. by phone at 507-358-5393 or by email.


Hannah Tiede

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