Red Sox star sports 'Marshall County Strong' bracelets on field

Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts, center, celebrates with third base coach Carlos Febles (52) after their 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals in a baseball game at Fenway Park, Wednesday, May 2, 2018, in Boston. Betts hit three home runs in the game. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Elise Amendola

DRAFFENVILLE — Following the shooting at Marshall County High School, there was an outpouring of support nationally for the victims of Preston Cope and Bailey Holt, the two students killed in the tragedy, the 20 other students injured, and their families.

That support is still going on.

This season, Boston Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts — whose cousin Craig Hamilton played football at Paducah Tilghman, and whose mother once lived in Paducah — has taken that support on the field with him.

Betts wears “Marshall County Strong” bracelets on each of his wrists during games.

While he politely declined, through the Red Sox media relations office, to be interviewed for this story, that hasn’t stopped the community from taking notice.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Marshall County baseball coach Rob McDonald said. “It’s kind of unbelievable to think that people out there are that supportive. That’s really cool to have him wearing the wristband in Major League Baseball.”

Kent Wallace, a former New York Yankees pitching prospect who runs the Baseball Barn in Reidland, said Betts’ gesture would likely endear the star to the community for years to come.

“It’s really cool,” said Wallace, whose building has a sign showing its support for the victims of the shooting, as well. “For him to do that, that just shows the kind of person he is.”

The Marshall County baseball team has noticed, too.

“I’m a Red Sox fan,” Marshals right-hander Jake Luebker said. “It’s awesome. He’s my favorite player right now. Seeing that, it’s amazing that it’s reached that far. The support has been amazing. It’s crazy to think that little Marshall County is out in Boston and other big cities.”

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