High school baseball team honors player's memory - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

High school baseball team honors player's memory

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OCEANSIDE (CBS 8) - As the Padres prepared for their home opener Tuesday, a high school team from Oceanside took the field to honor a friend.

With Forrest Garrett, there was never a catch. Number 17's favorite pitch was the one that made you smile.

"If anyone was sad, he'd always bring them up. He'd cheer everyone on, even if he wasn't playing. He was cheering people on. He was always happy, that's what I miss about him the most," player Alex Wall said.

Forrest spent years suffering from abdominal problems. So last August he had surgery to end his pain. But exactly a week later, the 17-year-old died unexpectedly from complications.

"We care about him a lot and what he meant to us will never be forgotten," player Tanner Olthoff said.

So the team started making their pitch to honor Forrest all season, and what they came up with has been a huge hit.

"We bring his number 17 jersey to every game we play. We forgot it one game and lost, so that was pretty bad," Alex said.

They also bring this plaque into the dugout and touch it for luck.

Without question, these players proudly wear their hearts on their sleeve -- which is also where you'll find Forrest's initials.

"It's just blessed us so much that our son has been remembered and that the kids cared so much about him. They want to have him in all that they are doing," Forrest's mother Debi Garrett said.

But honoring Forrest doesn't end there. The players and their parents have also started raising money for a scholarship in his name. Perfect says mom and dad, because Forrest was always about helping others.

"He was always out there helping somebody. He was the kind of kid who would, if he saw an old lady struggling with her cart of the door, he'd jump out and help," Debi said.

In fact ask the players and they'll tell you Forrest is helping them now. El Camino hasn't had a winning season in over 20 years. Last season they won just five games and lost 20. But this year, playing for Forrest, they not only have a winning record, but are currently tied for first place.

"It's really emotional for me because we're a lot better team this year and it's good to know this season's for Forrest," Tanner said.

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