A Triple Play: Seniors and Minor League Baseball Players Living Together at St. Paul’s
MISHAWAKA, IN–As spring emerges, baseball takes center stage for many Americans. While fans look forward to the crack of the bat, baseball fare and making memories, a special group of seniors at Saint Joseph Health System St. Paul’s has been anticipating more than just the game itself. For the third straight year, they welcomed two minor-league baseball players to live with them in their senior community.
“Spring training starts the anticipation from residents trying to guess which players will be joining our family this year,” said Shari Binkley, executive director of St. Paul’s Life Plan Community. “Our residents even keep track of our past ‘honorary residents’ through the minor leagues to see how close they are getting to the majors.”
This unique partnership began in 2016, with South Bend Cubs players Craig Brooks and Carson Sands pioneering this intergenerational living arrangement at St. Paul’s. Since then, six additional players have become honorary residents.
“The bond these players and residents build throughout the season is incredible to see unfold,” said Joe Hart, president of the South Bend Cubs. “And everyone knows when the St. Paul’s fan club comes to the field to cheer on their fellow residents with their fan club T-shirts and pom-poms.”
This year, outfielder Chris Singleton of Charleston, SC, and pitcher Brendan King of Brookline, MA, became the newest South Bend Cubs players to join St. Paul’s. Their apartments, right in the middle of the community, lend to an intergenerational environment not many get to experience.
“Being halfway across the country can be intimidating,” said King. “And I appreciate all the support and being welcomed with open arms here.”
Next door neighbor Singleton has already joined an exercise class at the community and plans to meet as many residents as he can. “This is something I know will be with me for the rest of my life,” he added. “I look forward to the wisdom that I can take into the future with me.”
Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS) is a not-for-profit health care system located in North Central Indiana that offers acute-based hospital care and post-acute services including: community wellness, physical rehabilitation, home care, physician clinics, outpatient services, independent and assisted senior living, memory care and affordable senior apartments.