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Local baseball league helping out West Springfield fire victim


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    WEST SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (WGGB/WSHM) — One of the victims who lost everything in a condo complex fire in West Springfield last week was getting help from some friends.

The Valley Wheel Over 30 Baseball League stepped up to the plate to help their fellow player get back on his feet.

“It was a terrible tragedy for Erick. The fire happened so quickly. He lost everything,” Valley Wheel Over 30 Baseball League Commissioner Jim Nason said.

Nason spoke with Western Mass News on how the league was helping one of their players, Erick Velez after the fire-ravaged his West Springfield condominium just days before Christmas. So far, they have raised $8,000.

Due to COVID-19, the league players asked for their league fee to be rolled over to 2021. Once they heard what happened to Erick Velez, most of them donated to him.

“Guys gave either all of it or part of it. Some guys that didn’t pay their league fee, they sent in a check,” Nason said.

The league fee is $270, and Nason said the help for Velez has gone beyond monetary donations.

“Quite a few former players sent in money. Players that don’t even know Erick. Guys are donating furniture, clothing, anything we can to help him,” Nason said.

This support comes as Velez was called a hero for trying to help put out the fire that started in his neighbor’s condo.

“In some ways, he helped get quite a few people out of those apartments, where somebody could have gotten hurt,” Nason explained. “The fire happened so quickly he literally got out with the clothes on his back, and that was it.”

Anyone who wants to help can reach out to Valley Wheel Baseball here.

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