Rangers fans remember Derek Holland and the goofy guy he was with Texas (and still is today with the Cubs). However, if there’s one thing Derek cares about more than his goofiness, it’s putting that smile on a child’s face and making sure no kid has to go through the grueling life of living with cancer.
This past Thursday, former Rangers pitcher Derek Holland and his foundation, 60 feet 6, held an event at the Rustic in Dallas. The event benefited pediatric cancer research. The foundation auctioned off great memorabilia, and guests were encouraged to buy raffle tickets to win prizes. It was a packed house with comedy to begin the night, followed by a tearful speech by Derek. It ended with musical accompaniment by Zach Mason and The Jars and the headliner, Josh Weathers.
Huge thank you to @Dutch_Oven45 and the @60feet6 Foundation for having Zach out to open the show tonight. It was an honor to be a part of such an awesome night for an amazing cause. pic.twitter.com/TUusOmmV3C
— Zach Mason & The Jars (@zmasonjars) November 15, 2019
Guests that donated a certain amount were able to access the outside porch of the Rustic. There they got to meet Derek Holland and a few other Rangers and athletes. Current Rangers Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara were in attendance in addition to Rangers great, Michael Young and Rangers reporter, Emily Jones. Guests also saw Cardinals pitcher (who is a free agent), Michael Wacha and Chicago Cubs (also a free agent), catcher Jonathan Lucroy, and former Cowboys wide receiver Jesse Holley.
— JESSE (With No “i”) (@Mr4thAndLong) November 15, 2019
The main highlight came during Derek Holland’s speech that left few dry-eyed. After starting with a quick, friendly jab to former teammate Michael Young, things got emotional. Derek reminisced about how the foundation began. Holland told the story about a young kid, Briggs Berry, who wanted to see Derek, and they ended up bonding. He talked about how they brought a LeBron James jersey as things were going south for Briggs to see him open his eyes after Derek and Ben Rogers visited him. “Me and Ben were praying with him, and we told him you’re going to get through this. I’m going to go through my rehab, and we’re going to get you out to Rangers ballpark, and we’re going to see a Rangers game together, and I’m going to play.” After that, both Derek and Ben felt the force of Briggs squeezing their hands.
Back on September 3, 2014, Derek wore cleats on his first game back from knee surgery honoring Briggs. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to go to a Rangers game together as a couple of weeks later, Briggs ended up passing away. The speech concluded, not only with me sobbing but with Derek presenting Briggs’ parents with cleats honoring their son. The cleats have Briggs’ face on them, and Holland made sure he pitched the day that Briggs passed away ended with a round of applause. As Derek said, “no kid should ever have to go through [cancer].” If you want to read more on Derek and Brigg’s friendship, check out Brandon Linthicum’s piece from ConsiderCollective.com in 2014.
The night ended with Josh Weathers performing, including a few renditions of The Temptations, “My Girl,” and a little Celine Dion. The evening was a complete success, and the turnout was incredible from people all around DFW. If you want more information on Derek Holland’s foundation, you can visit 60 feet 6’s website. If there’s one thing we all can live by, it’s “Live like nothing is wrong,” said by Briggs Berry.
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