Former Glendale High School baseball coach Howard Bell was diagnosed with Lou Gerig's disease last December and tonight's exhibition matchup with Drury and MSU was aBattle for Bell.
Hundreds of fans watched as Bell shook hands with players and coaches from both teams before hitting the mound to throw out the first pitch.
Friends and family have put together several fundraisers to help contribute to the family medical costs and tonight two teams that mean a lot to Bell squared off for the first time making tonight's event extra special.
"I have long time ties with both teams and hey that's why I got my Missouri State and Drury on tonight, so I don't get in trouble that way," said Howard Bell.
His family and friends admire his upbeat attitude and his loyalty to both teams says a lot about his love for the game.
"I'm not going to say who I'm for because I just want everybody to play hard and have fun and it is a good game," said Bell.
Baseball is the game he'll never give up.
Bell retired as Glendale High School's baseball coach last spring after teaching and coaching for 28 years.
He played high school ball at Parkview and was a standout infielder for Missouri State University in the 80s.
MSU head baseball coach Keith Guttin recruited Bell and says he grew into a seasoned coach and player.
"He was a very gritty and smart player. He was a little undersized for an infielder, but just maximized his talents. He was a good teacher and I think he took his playing experience and was able to convey them to his players," said Guttin.
The players he coached say they learned from the best.
"He was the guy who wouldn't say much during the game, but after the game he would say something that meant a lot to you in your ear and he helped you outside of practice," said Scott Nasby, Drury Assistant Coach and former Glendale High School baseball player.
And that love for the game is why the community came together to support his fight against ALS, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to a loss in control of muscle movement. but to his friends and family he hasn't let the disease take away his love for the game.
"Howard has been a great guy and has affected a lot of baseball in the past 25 to 30 years not only as a player as a coach so we thought the community would want to help and they have," said Mark Stratton, Drury Baseball Head Coach.