Vidalia hosts softball tournament in memory of local’s infant son

Published 12:18 am Sunday, August 5, 2012

Brett Hinson, left, high-fives his teammate Hollywood Robinson, right, after scoring a run during a softball tournament benefitting his family Saturday afternoon at the Vidalia softball complex. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — Brett Hinson took to a Vidalia field Saturday, but this time his game had a lot more heart than it ever did in high school.

Hinson, a Vidalia native and former Vidalia High School baseball player, played in a benefit softball tournament Saturday in memory of his infant son, Tucker.

Brett and Kayce Hinson’s child, Tucker Cross Hinson, was born July 1 with Pallister-Killian Syndrome, or PKS, a rare developmental disorder that sees many children diagnosed with it die shortly after birth. Those who live suffer from mental disabilities and developmental delays. Tucker only made it to July 25.

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“We had known since right after she was pregnant,” Brett said. “It’s one of those things where the doctors said, ‘Don’t get your hopes up, but don’t be hopeless.’”

After watching the Hinsons go through such a rough time, Ryan Boles, who helped organize the tournament, said a group of Brett’s friends got together and came up with the idea of having a benefit softball tournament.

“The family’s been out of work going through all of this, and there are a lot of bills with no income,” Boles said. “We were just trying to help him out.”

A total of 12 teams from Jackson, Vicksburg and Baton Rouge, Natchez and Vidalia participated in the tournament, which lasted from approximately 9 a.m. Saturday until midnight Sunday. The tournament was divided into three brackets, and a total of $1,800 was raised for the Hinson family.

Brett said going through the ordeal was not something he and his wife could prepare themselves for.

“It was something we (thought we) were prepared for, but we really weren’t,” Brett said.

Brett said he’s been very touched by the outpouring of support.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Brett said. “There are so many people that have helped out. People talk about how they hate living in a small community, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“People that I haven’t talked to in years have helped out, and people I don’t even know have asked what they can do to help.”

Adam Probst, a friend of Brett’s, said he was more than happy to help out with the tournament.

“I want to do whatever I can to help, because I know he’d do whatever he could for me,” Probst said.

And after witnessing the turnout of 12 teams and many fans, Probst said he could see that Brett was a friend to many people, not just Probst.

“He must be a well-liked guy,” Probst said. “I don’t know how to really put this into words, but with a turnout like this, he must be something.”

If there’s one thing he’s learned during the ordeal, Brett said it’s to never take anything for granted.

“You’re never guaranteed anything,” Brett said. “It still feels like we’re living in a dream right now.”