FORT MYERS, Fla. — Andrew Bailey lives in Cheshire, Conn., with his wife and infant daughter. They are about 40 minutes from Newtown and news of the tragedy on Dec. 14 hit hard.
"It was so close to home," Bailey said Friday. "Just being in that area ... and hearing the stories. I couldn't imagine what those kids were going through."
On Jan. 27, Bailey and teammate Craig Breslow ran a baseball clinic in Newtown for kids at Sandy Hook Elementary School and others from the town. Red Sox prospect Matt Barnes, a Connecticut native, helped out. So did former Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
"It was nice to go up there and see kids in good spirits and meet a lot of those kids who were at that elementary school," Bailey said. "For me it was doing my part of what I could do to help those kids kind of ease away from that memory."
They conducted a 90-minute clinic for kids 6-8 and then a second clinic for older kids. Then there was an autograph session.
"It was awesome," Bailey said. "It was all baseball. ... We just wanted to do something for them."
Bailey and Breslow are two of baseball's most charitable players. Breslow's Strike 3 Foundation raises funds for children's cancer research. Bailey is heavily involved with Strike 3.