Women’s Baseball Clinic is something special for cancer survivor

When asked who had survived breast cancer or had been affected by it somehow, nearly everyone attending the fourth annual TCU Women’s Baseball Clinic Thursday raised their hands.

One woman to raise her hand was 1958 graduate and current Clark Hall office assistant Mary Ruth Jones. She has been to the clinic all four years and said April would mark 13 years since doctors told her she was breast cancer-free.

Jones said she and some of her friends who are also breast cancer survivors have made the various Frogs for the Cure games a tradition.

“We just appreciate anything that is going on to help young women and others learn about breast cancer and what they can do and how you can survive,” she said.

Jones also said she is a member of the Frogs for the Cure committee and has been on the field with other survivors.

After graduating from the university 55 years ago, working at the university for 30 years and seeing her three children graduate from the university, Jones said she has a purple heart.

Over the years of being both a student and an employee of the school, Jones said she has seen a lot of changes happen to the university. One of these changes was seeing the addition of the upper deck of Amon G. Carter Stadium between her sophomore and junior years and later seeing it imploded to build the new stadium.

In addition to the changes, Jones said she has gotten to know a few of the baseball players such as senior third baseman Jantzen Witte. She said she worked during summer school when a lot of the seniors came in as freshmen.

“I saw them come in as freshmen and getting ready to go on into the pros in another year or so,” she said. “It’s great.”

Some of the players, including redshirt senior infielder Davy Wright, walked the runway to show off this season’s uniforms along with members of the TCU spirit squads. Other players such as Witte took part in an unscripted question and answer session facilitated by Gina Miller of CBS 11 and TXA 21 TV stations.

The clinic has grown every year, Julie May, assistant director of athletics marketing, and head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. They also said they try to bring something new to the program each year.

This year’s event included mental conditioning consultant Brian Cain and a time for attendees to try their baseball skills.

The night had a moment of romance when Miller started an impromptu auction for a date with Tony Vitello, the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for baseball. The winning bid was $700, which went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Jones said the woman bidding was sitting in front of her.

“I couldn’t tell whether she was doing it for herself or for her friend next to her,” she said. “But what a great way to raise money!”

As of Friday, May did not have a specific amount of money raised, but she said the average total from years past was in the range of $3,000.