Last Wednesday, Casey Baynes, the founder of “Casey Cares” was doing what she likes best, taking a family her charity helps on an enjoyable outing.
It was an Orioles game and Baynes introduced the family to Brian Matusz, who has been heavily involved in “Casey Cares” since he became an Oriole.
Now, Matusz is no longer an Oriole, and Baynes is choosing to think of the nice, unpublicized things her friend did for the critically ill children that “Casey Cares” helps.
“Brian’s been involved with Casey Cares since he joined the team. I remember going after his first win, going to the hospital the next day,” Baynes said Tuesday morning.
“That’s what he chose to do the next day after his first win, which is so meaningful and speaks to the character of Brian,” Baynes said.
“He’s so compassionate with the kids.”
Baynes said that he’d play Xbox for hours with children at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital, and that she would have to urge him to leave.
“The smiles on the kid’s faces were amazing because they couldn’t believe they were playing Xbox with a major league baseball player,” Baynes said.
“It’s something those kids will talk about for the rest of their lives.”
Once on a hospital visit, a child died.
“That was tough. That was really, really tough. He would always say, ‘the struggles that athletes have are nothing compared to what these kids have to go through,’” Baynes said.
“These kids made an impact just as much on him as he did on them. He never thought he was that impactful on their lives, but he truly was.”
Of course, she’ll need another player to be the organization’s face. Matusz was set to spread the word about “Casey Cares’” 5k at Oriole Park on Aug. 6.
“We’re not that easy to get away from, and I know that he’ll still be very involved at Casey Cares,” Baynes said.