10-year-old killed in car crash honored by his baseball team
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Friday night, the Lyndon Bananas warmed up like any other game. They played catch, ran sprints and got ready for the game.
However one thing was different when they took the field, no one was in center field. At least not in person.
“We’re going to be playing with nine players today in the field,” Jonathan Moore said to his team. “But one of them is going to be looking down on us.”
The Banana’s center fielder is 10-year-old Jake Luxemburger. Last Saturday, Jake and his grandmother were on their way home from buying his birthday presents, when a man running from police hit their car.
Jake was killed and his grandmother is in the hospital.
“The best thing you can say about Jake is his smile was infectious,” Moore said. “He brought the best out of everybody. His teammates, people around him, his nephews, really everyone who came in contact with him.”
Thursday was Jake’s funeral. His teammates were there and able to say goodbye to him.
“They all went up together and were next to each other and were unified as a team,” Moore said. “They cried as a team. They held each other as a team.”
Before the game, they unveiled a sign in center field for Jake, so that he can always be there watching for fly balls.
Jake’s dad Trey Luxemburger is a coach for the team. He briefly spoke to the team, but soon it was back to business.
“I can promise you Jake’s not up there watching wanting to watch you all walk,” Luxemburger said to the team. “Let’s swing the bat tonight. Let’s keep swinging, let’s keep hitting.”
And hit they did. They won the game 10-0.
Every time his team took the field, a part of Jake would go too. The 10-year-old’s teammates would place his glove, hat, and sunglasses in his spot in center field.
“You’re definitely going to mourn tomorrow,” Moore said. “And you’re going to mourn for weeks, and months and years to come. But today is about celebrating Jake and also one thing he’d want me to say over and over again is it’s not just to celebrate Jake. It’s to celebrate his team.”
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