St. Joe baseball team and students honor late classmate Aidan Short
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - This week should have simply been the start of Saint Joseph baseball's defense of its Class 3A state championship.
That was the furthest thing from their minds at Wednesday's candlelight vigil for Aidan Short. Instead, focusing on their late classmate and teammate's impact on all those around him.
“The amount of support and love and prayers we’ve experienced has been profound and overwhelming," said Short's father Tim. "I can’t say 'thank you' enough to everybody for what they’ve given us.”
This past Friday, 10 days after his 17th birthday, Aidan Short was killed in a crash in LaPorte, when his van veered off the road and struck trees. Days of prayers and remembrance followed.
The latest, Wednesday's vigil, was held on the St. Joe baseball diamond where Short made so many memories. The junior played catcher on the varsity team, which earned the first state title in school history a season ago.
Some of his teammates shared their favorite memories of Aidan as family, friends, classmates, and teammates gathered around the baselines and the outfield.
“All of the kids talked about joy," Tim said of the evening's speeches. "I think the baseball field was the most joyous place of all for him. He really loved to play. It’s really been good for me to experience his friends and how much joy he brought to his friends and brought to the world. That’s really part of why he was here.”
Ultimately, the Indians dedicated their upcoming season to his memory. But when Tim has had a chance to speak with the team, he's made sure they understand the greater purpose of the game.
“Baseball is great but it’s a tool," he said. "It’s a tool to learn about how to be a good person, how to be a productive person in society."
Still, baseball will be a part of the Short family. While St. Joe games will have a different meaning, Tim said it will still feel right to be in the stands.
"It would be wonderful if they repeated as state champions," he said, "but we’ll be fans of theirs no matter what happens. We’ll be glad to be here and watch these kids play hard because we knew Aidan would be right there playing hard with them.”