ST. LOUIS — Although he didn't call St. Louis home, Busch Stadium was nearly a second residence for 15-year-old Preston Cope. Cope, a Kentuckian, was no stranger to Cardinals baseball. His father, Brian, grew up a fan of the Redbirds and he wanted to extend his fandom to his sons.
The charm worked well for Preston, reports MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch. Preston was no stranger to baseball, either. Last spring, the Marshall County High School baseball team played an exhibition game at Busch Stadium, "the highlight that made his young life," said Brian.
But just two weeks ago, Marshall County High School made national news when a 15-year-old gunman opened fire on students prior to the start of classes. Two were killed and 19 were injured; of those, Preston was one of the deceased. Sixteen-year-old Bailey Holt was the other student to lose her life that day.
In the aftermath of the mass shooting, the 15th mass shooting of 2018, word spread of Preston's life and shortened legacy. Eventually, Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright received word and felt compelled to assist with the families of those affected by the massacre.
Wainwright, alongside Big League Impact, invited the shooting victims and their families to Busch Stadium this summer. The date for their ceremony has yet to be announced.
Now, just one year after Preston attended the annual Winter Warm-Up, his family has something else to smile at — the generosity of the Cardinals off the field.