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M. Ellis and wife helping make baseball safer

M. Ellis and wife helping make baseball safer

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M. Ellis and wife helping make baseball safer

DENVER -- Dodgers infielder Mark Ellis' wife, Sarah, a mother of three, read about the tragic death of an 8-year-old Little Leaguer this summer and she's doing what she can to help.

Dylan Williams was practicing for the Union City, Ind., All-Star Game when he was fatally injured. On Saturday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Sarah and Mark will host Williams' teammates and participate in a ceremony before the Dodgers-Reds game to raise awareness for on-field safety and support the Dylan Williams Forever an All-Star Foundation.

Playing first base, Williams was hit on the right side of his neck by a throw, went down immediately, was rushed to a hospital and died. His family donated his organs to keep other children alive.

"We have a daughter named Dylan and with the baseball part of it, my wife was just struck by it," Ellis said. "She reached out to the town to see what we could do to help."

Ellis and the Dodgers, along with Rawlings and the Reds, will hold a pregame ceremony to raise awareness for the foundation and for proper safety preparedness at parks and ball fields.

"Union City is a very small town, maybe 5,000 total, and this has really struck them hard," Mark Ellis said. "We want to try to make a good day out of this and to raise awareness about safety in general."

Ellis and his wife are providing tickets to the game and transportation to Dylan's teammates and family. Each teammate will be presented with a Rawlings helmet to be worn on the field at all times, as Mark said he was required to do while playing American Legion youth baseball. Rawlings will donate 300 helmets for the entire league.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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