February 14, 2020

He created a new tradition on the baseball field to bring joy to children in the hospital

The 7th Inning Wave has been a home run at ball games in Birmingham

Traditions have the power to bring people together. That’s why Nathan Marcus was inspired to bring a new one to America’s favorite pastime.

Marcus, an Allstate agent based in Birmingham, Alabama, was watching ESPN when he saw that fans at University of Iowa football games wave to the children’s hospital facing the stadium. As a Birmingham Barons fan, he knew that the baseball team’s home, Regions Field, directly faced the Children’s of Alabama Hospital—the building has a perfect view of home plate.

[Read more: Using sports to create community on Chicago’s South Side]

So, in April 2019, Marcus decided to sponsor the 7th inning stretch of a home game, and create a new tradition for Barons fans: The 7th inning wave. Everyone in the stands gets up, lights up their cell phones, and waves to the patients, their families and the employees at the hospital. The tradition grew, as children and their families at the hospital were provided with flashlights so that they could wave back to the crowds.

“It’s a neat thing for Birmingham, but most importantly, it’s a lift for the families whose kids are in the hospital,” Marcus told AL.com.

The Renewal Project

The Renewal Project, made possible by Allstate, tells the stories of individuals and organizations who are solving problems in their communities.
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