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It all started in the playpen when I was around 2.  My mom would play “catch" with me using a small beachball that required two hands to catch.  Needless to say, from there on out my mom supported me and my love of baseball.  When I turned 8, I was finally able to play organized baseball.  Mom scrubbed my unform until every stain was removed.  It was important to her that I “looked good, so I could play good.”  She attended every game regardless of the weather, including holidays and even doubleheaders on Mother’s Days.

The day that I was drafted was one of the proudest days of her life.  She continued to support me by following me around the country, clipping newspaper articles and being in the stands when my team won the Junior World Series.  When I retired from baseball, my wife and I decided to settle in Virginia Beach.  My mom and dad made numerous trips to Virginia Beach to spend time with us and to watch the grandchildren grow up. 

I was heartbroken when my mom was diagnosed with ALS.  It was painful to watch her decline as the disease progressed.  I greatly admire her courage, grace and tenacity as she never lost her beautiful spirit and love of family even when she was suffering at the end.

My golf tournament which has evolved over the years, has given me the opportunity to bring awareness to the disease and to help other families going through the same difficult time.  The irony of it all is that ALS is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Lou was one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

In her fighting spirit, we drive on. I hope that you will join in with your support through a sponsorship or donation. Your gift helps the ALS Association provide free support and services to more than 900 individuals and families in our region each year, advocate for for greater investments in research, and fund the work that will find treatments and a cure for this terrible disease.

Thank you for your friendship and support,

Edward "Fast Eddie" Kurpiel, Jr.

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