Ball Team Helping to Find Missing Kids - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

New Hope: Baseball Team Features Missing Children on Team Photos

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Williamsport Crosscutters annual team photo giveaway will take on added significance this season.

The Crosscutters are one of a handful of teams across the country that have joined former Williamsport Cub pitcher Dennis Bair, the founder of BairFind, to feature a missing child on their 2010 team photos.

Bair, drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1995, made seven starts for Williamsport that summer going 2-3 with a 1.60 ERA. In 2001, he came up with the idea of featuring missing children on team photos.

Bair explained, "Like all of us, I have seen countless photos of missing children on milk cartons and on flyers in the mail. But I always ended up throwing the milk carton away when the milk was gone and those flyers I got in the mail would inevitably end up in the recycling bin. Then it hit me! If a ballplayer could sign the photo and give it to a kid at a baseball game, that kid would actually look at it and, better yet, keep it and show it to their family and friends! I could enlist children themselves in the search for a missing child - and double the amount of eyeballs in the search! I could bring new hope to the parents of a missing child."

 The Williamsport photos will feature Gina DeJesus who has been missing from the Cleveland area since April 2, 2004.

 "The Crosscutters are proud to join forces with a former Williamsport player who is working hard to make positive things happen," said Cutters Vice President of Marketing, Gabe Sinicropi. "There is no hidden agenda with Dennis and BairFind. It's a just one man with an idea and a drive to make a difference in our world." At least two children who have been featured on a BairFind team photo promotion in recent years have been found.

 The Crosscutters team photo giveaway is scheduled for Tuesday, July 13 as Williamsport hosts the Connecticut Tigers at 7:05pm. Free Crosscutters Team Photos will be handed out to the first 1,500 fans courtesy of the Cutters flagship, ESPN Radio Williamsport.

 Sinicropi stated that Bair will be in attendance at the Crosscutters game on July 13 along with the mother of Gina DeJesus, who is making the trip from Cleveland to be at the game in person.

 Tickets for the game can be ordered online at crosscutters.com, via phone at (570) 326-3389 or at the Crosscutters box office at Bowman Field.

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