XENIA — Decked out in their green no. 14 T-shirts, family and friends of the late Joshua Rosell gathered at the Xenia Youth Recreation Club’s Evans Acres concession stand to dedicate a specially made park bench in Rosell’s honor.
Rosell passed away on March 13, 2016, and the family wished to recognize his love for youth sports, especially baseball. His favorite jersey number was No. 14, after former Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose.
Using oak lumber that had stood the test of time as an 80-year-old barn, the bench was designed and built by Rob Rowland. The inscription: “In Memory of Josh Rosell … Rounded 3rd and Headed Home 3-13-2016” was emblazoned into the wood by one of Rosell’s grandfathers, Marty Murphy, the bench was then coated with several protective layers of polyurethane to withstand the outdoors (and young concessions customers) at Evans Acres.
Shirley Murphy, Rosell’s grandmother, said the bench will have a permanent place underneath the concession stand roof, in order to keep it out of the elements.
Josh’s father, Rob, choked up several times when he took the time to thank everyone for their dedication and support.
The Rosell family sponsored the 2017 G-Ball youth postseason tournament. G-Ball is a Coaches Pitch league for children ages 7-8. Josh’s other grandfather, Bill Mercer, designed the trophies that will be presented to the G-Ball tournament participants. T-shirts, designed by Xenia-based Just Ink Tees, will be given out to the winning team members as well.
Ron “Bear” Clark announced that the Rosell family will be sponsoring the Saturday July 1 Home Run Derby. The inaugural event is open to all Xenia YRC kids in ages ranging from 7 to 15. First-place trophies will be awarded to the winners in each division and T-shirts will also be available.
The event starts at 2 p.m. Saturday. YRC baseball players can sign-up for the event through Thursday, June 29 at the Evans Acres ball diamonds, in Xenia.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.