Allen Turner wanted to do something to honor his grandfather, who was “a kind man” and passionate about baseball.
In lieu of gifts for special occasions, Allen and his father Wes Turner have asked for new youth baseball gloves to give to players at the Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren.
The Turners have collected or purchased 37 new gloves as of Aug. 16 and plan to have at least 100 donated by the start of the spring season.
“It is my hope that these kids will be able to develop some sort of connection with their father, grandfather or someone like I did,” said Allen Turner, who shares a birthday with his grandfather, George Wallace Turner. “Baseball connected us and I felt like I needed to honor my best friend… my hero. I think he would be tickled to know he was influential in getting baseball gloves to kids.”
Both Allen and his grandfather shared the same birthday, Aug. 2, and when the idea was launched, the response was “incredible.” Allen has also received more gloves since.
Allen Turner is also looking to perhaps sponsor a team in his grandfather’s name this spring and just “expand” from there.
His father, Wes Turner, has sponsored teams in the past in addition to providing support for the Boys & Girls Club.
“My dad coached me in Church League in Fort Smith, and all the way until I got into American Legion, and then I was coached by Claire Bates,” said Wes Turner, Allen’s father. “He helped me coach Allen and was involved in helping. My dad and grandfather were both pretty good ballplayers back in the old days.”