Softball players stranded in Portland because of Hurricane Irma - KPTV - FOX 12

Softball players stranded in Portland because of Hurricane Irma

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As Hurricane Irma takes aim at Florida, many people visiting Portland from the east coast state can’t get back home. That includes the hundreds of people from Florida playing in this week’s Gay Softball World Series.

“We’re in the championship game and we’re playing well, but we have other things on the mind,” said player Jerry Travis.

While the softball team Hot Hitters from Ft Lauderdale lived up to their name, hitting home runs left and right. They were also worried about Hurricane Irma hitting their home.

“We get into game mode and we don’t have to worry about it, but as soon as the game is over our thoughts go back to family and friends back home,” said Travis.

22 teams from Florida came to Portland this year to compete in the event at Delta Park.

“Ft Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa are three of our largest leagues,” said Chris Balton.

Ron Frank is from Tampa.

“About as far away as I could be,” said Frank.

He said even with the games as a distraction, it’s not distraction enough.

“I think the hardest thing to deal with is the anxiety,” said Frank. “I mean to be honest with you I’m safer here than if I was home right now, but with a lot of family that live in that area and your property and what not and your house and everything, you’re always concerned about that.”

Then there’s Steven O’Brien from the Ft. Lauderdale area. He’s stuck here while his loved ones back home are the only thing on his mind.

“That’s been the hard part because emotionally you’re like, you know, we have family and them back home and you worry about them,” said O’Brien.

With so much going on back at their true home base, these players are hoping for the best while they try to play the best they can.

“Hopefully we’ll all get through it,” said Travis.

“It helps because you want to see some success despite all you’re going through,” said O’Brien.

Everyone Fox 12 spoke with said Portland has been a great host for the series while they’re going through this. A lot of hotels in town have even given them special discounts since they’re forced to stay here longer.

The Hot Hitters ended up getting 2nd place Saturday in their division, players who are 50 or older.

Next year, the event will be held in Tampa.

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