Daniel Ponce de Leon will be the special guest at the Baseball Bash at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Palm Beach Gardens on March 14. Ponce de Leon, who recently changed his name back to the original spelling as opposed to the Poncedeleon– all one word– that he had been using since playing with the Cardinals.
According to the player, it was shortened to one word to make it easier to get the letters all on his jersey, but he decided to go with his original family name.
“I look forward to seeing the fans,” said Ponce de Leon who jokingly added “I don’t have to give a speech do I?”
“It’s always a great time,” said Christie Netzel, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Homewood Suites. “It’s a time we are able to combine fun with charity and we are always pleased to host this annual event and give back to the community.”
Ponce de Leon is one of the candidates for an open spot in the Cardinals starting rotation. He is expected to make his second appearance of the spring on Sunday. The right-handed pitcher from Florida, made his major-league debut last season, a year after his 2017 season ended when he was hit in the head by a line drive while pitching for Memphis, requiring emergency brain surgery.
Ponce de Leon has an amazing story which has been chronicled here on STLSportsPage.com in a previous article.
Just two years ago he was hit by the line drive in a Memphis Redbirds’ game in Des Moines, Iowa. Three months later he received the final medical clearance he needed to be allowed to resume baseball activities. As his father sat in the stands and watched him pitch in Spring Training 293 from the day of his injury he was amazed to see his son actually pitching again– chronicled here in a second article.
Ponce de Leon had been taken from the ballpark on a stretcher, with a life-threatening injury at the time and then there were fears of not being able to see again, but he’s made an amazing comeback and will be at the Baseball Bash to talk Cardinals Baseball and take questions.
The Baseball Bash is always a big hit for fans because it is a chance to get up close and personal with a Cardinals player at a fun event with other Cardinals fans– and there is no charge to get in. Mike Trim of WPTV, West Palm is the emcee and he and Rob Rains will talk baseball with Ponce de Leon and the fans.
There are many ways fans can choose to donate to the charities though– either through the silent auction, raffles, or give a donation for an autograph.
The money will be split between the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Palm Beach and Rainbows for Kids in St. Louis. The proceeds donated to Rainbows for Kids will go towards a special project which will be announced at the event.
For questions about the event, please call Christie Netzel at the Homewood Suites: (561) 622-7799 or email: STLSportsPage@gmail.com