Moments before Alabama State University took on Florida A&M on the diamond, there was a moment of silence, a prayer and Dr. D'Linell Finley offering himself to anyone who wanted to talk about the Boston bombings.
"We want to offer comfort and encouragement where there is sadness," said Dr. Finley.
In addition to his duties as a professor in political science at ASU, Dr. Finley is an ordained minister plus 30 years of experience in grief counseling.
Carla Sims attended the game to see her son play for Florida A&M. Sims says she was pleasantly surprised such as an offer was made at a venue like a college baseball game.
"I thought it was very nice to do that. I didn't expect it, " says Sims.
Although Sims had no direct link to the Boston bombings, the mere fact someone was at the game for her to talk to was comforting, a difference maker in a world full of turmoil.
"It does soothe the spirit when you have a prayer like that. I have a strong faith and I've prayed for the victims," said Sims.
Midway through the game no one took up Finley's offer for a chat. Dr. Finley says he was okay with that because the way he looks at it the ballgame probably offered the better therapy.
"If they are here and enjoying the game that's good," said Finley.
Add to that the Hornets were winning and went on to win 14 to 1. Even though Sims' team didn't win it didn't matter. With Finley in the stands and watching America's pastime, Sims saw the combination as welcomed distractions from the Boston horror.
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