ST. LOUIS – It could be the energy from the crowd or the crack of a baseball hitting the bat.
However, for Brian and Teresa Cope, a return to Busch Stadium is walking back into a second home.
“We’ve watched wonderful ballgames and Cardinal players,” Teresa Cope said. “We’ve just had the best memories here.”
Months after losing their son, 15-year-old Preston in Benton, Kentucky’s school shooting.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” Cope said. “As a family, we’re getting through with God’s grace each day.”
His dad, Brian, is left holding onto the fond memories of his son’s favorite baseball team.
“He’s here with us in spirit,” Brian Cope said. “It was hard coming through here today because the last time we were here, he was at second base.”
From cheering in the stands to hitting the field with his high school team, being 200 miles away didn’t stop the Cope family from Cardinals Nation.
“When he come across there and they announced his name that day,” Brain recalls. “I’ll never forget that smile.”
Accompanied by 12 other families affected by the deadly shooting as well, a Cardinals game meant making a run to a new base to cloud the curveball that happened at home.
“We’re from kind of a small town and being able to come up here and be a part of something bigger is interesting,” a student said. It’s just a true honor for them to welcome us back like this”
With a special hello from pitcher Adam Wainwright, who sponsored the entire trip and wore a special nod to Marshall County.
“It’s pretty cool,” another student said. “I really appreciate what he’s done for me and everyone else.”
“Even for people that are that popular and high in the industry where we’re just a small town,” a student said. “People like that think about us. That’s really awesome.”
And for that short time, everyone enjoyed one of America’s favorite pastimes, while keeping in mind the past promises made to themselves following a tragedy.
“It was hard coming back, but we know we feel it,” Teresa Cope said. “We know he’s here with us.”