If there's anything that gets compared to war, its sports. Today players and coaches got the chance to connect with veterans. Former army sergeant Rick Yarosh grew playing baseball and he says he wouldn't miss the opportunity to offer inspiration to young players.
Ret. Sgt. Rick Yarosh says "I don't think people realize that you're actually playing for an organization that represents so much more than just the baseball, it's the camaraderie, it's the team work, its the stuff that we have to do overseas as well, you know. You're not going to win games if you don't play as a team."
Tomorrow teams from across the state will travel to Utica to compete for the chance at a national championship. Today players say meeting veterans gives them the desire to play for more than just themselves.
New Hartford Left Fielder Doug Owen says, "Just the fact that they can go through so much and come back and be so positive and see such nasty things and come back and just have such a positive mentality, I think it's really cool."
New Hartford player Vinny Maugeri says, "These guys are out half way across the world doing great things for our country. It's just great hearing what they do and learning about their experiences."
It's a special day for veterans like rick because he knows what it's like to be out on the ball field like the young players and he says it has many similarities to serving in the army."
Yarosh says, "Playing as a team. It works over into that. If we didn't work as a team over there, you know, some of us don't come home. Obviously that's not the exact same comparison as baseball but you can't win games without being a team."
Players came in ready for tomorrow's tournament, now they leave ready to fight for something more than a win.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.