Live On night with Ogden Raptors raises $7,000, draws 4,600 fans; Ulliana’s slam lifts Raptors over Owlz
OGDEN — Live On is the state of Utah’s official suicide prevention and support effort, a “public-private mental health and suicide prevention campaign that aims to modify attitudes and social norms to reduce suffering and save lives,” reads the Live On website.
It’s a new effort in 2022, the first time Utah “has taken on a comprehensive, large-scale, multi-platform effort of this type around the issue of mental health and suicide — one that goes beyond individual marketing efforts or one-off messaging initiatives,” the website explains. “Under HB 393 (2019), the Utah Legislature generously matched funds from private donors for this endeavor, supporting a three-year period of robust campaign development, implementation, and evaluation.”
The Ogden Raptors have made the Live On campaign a thread that will run throughout the 2022 season, featuring announcements made at each home game. But Wednesday night at Lindquist Field was the season’s official Live On night, sponsored by Weber Human Services and the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition.
So the Raptors made special uniform tops for Wednesday night’s game against the Northern Colorado Owlz. The dark-blue jersey featured teal sleeves and numbers — teal being the color of the Live On campaign — and say “Live on” over the numbers on the back where player names usually go.
The team ordered 50 Live On jerseys and put them for sale at $150 apiece with all proceeds, minus a small sum to help cover the production of the jerseys, going to Weber Human Services, and the jerseys going to the fans who purchased them after the game.
Raptors team president Dave Baggott said Wednesday that almost all of them were already sold by the time the game had started, and this is the first jersey theme night he’s ever done where all game jerseys were purchased that night. Baggott said he’ll send $7,000 to Weber Human Services for those jerseys. There may be an additional, unknown sum raised as fans were encouraged to donate at the sales stand despite all game jerseys being spoken for.
Wednesday brought 4,602 fans to the ballpark, the best night of the season to date now that school is out, and those fans heard messages that inform people how they can help others in trouble and change attitudes surrounding mental health.
“If all of this saves even one person, it’s worth so much more than anything money-wise we could talk about,” Baggott said.
Suicide prevention is one of the many things that fall under the Weber Human Services umbrella. WHS has services for mental health, addiction recovery, at-risk children and youth, and the elderly.
RAPTORS 11, OWLZ 8
The two teams traded leads through four innings Wednesday until Ogden catcher Sonny Ulliana homered for the second time in his two appearances with the team, sending a grand slam the opposite way to right field to put the Raptors ahead 11-5 in the fourth.
That was ultimately the decisive swing as the Raptors improved to 9-3 in the young season.
Third baseman Jesus Valdez hit a two-run homer in the second inning and first baseman Freddy Achecar singled in the go-ahead run in the fourth (to make it 6-5) before Ulliana’s slam.
Northern Colorado third baseman Kevin Higgins doubled with the bases loaded in the fifth to send all three Owlz home and make it 11-8, chasing Ogden starter Emmanuel Rosario. From there, Tom Walker did none of his namesake act, instead striking out three and retiring all eight batters he faced in 2 2/3 innings of work.
Lefty Jake Mulholland got the final two outs in the eighth, and Ogden’s own Evan Parker faced the minimum in the ninth though technically allowing a baserunner.
With one out in the ninth, NoCo shortstop Brandon Crosby hit a fly down the right-field line. Raptors outfielder Anthony Ray tracked it down but it hit off his glove, allowing Crosby to briefly reach by error until Ray threw Crosby out trying to take second base on the play. So, functionally, Ogden pitchers retired the final 13 Owlz batters in order.
The two teams continue their series Thursday through Sunday at Lindquist Field.
Ogden 11, Northern Colorado 8
Grand Junction 9, Boise 8
Idaho Falls 21, Rocky Mountain 6
Glacier 14, Great Falls 0
Missoula 7, Billings 6
Notes: Billings saw its seven-game win streak snapped. Ogden’s win streak hits five games. Rocky Mountain has lost 11 straight.
PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS
Idaho Falls 10-3
Great Falls 10-4
Northern Colorado 5-7
Grand Junction 4-8
Rocky Mountain 1-12
Those thinking of harming themselves have several resources available:
Weber Human Services emergency or crisis services, 801 625-3700.
Davis Behavioral Health 24-Hour Crisis Response Line, 801-773-7060
National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255
National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah, 801-323-9900
Family Counseling Service of Northern Utah, 801-399-1600
Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital Behavioral Health, 801-387-5600
Davis Hospital: Behavioral Health Unit and Emergency Room, 801-807-1000
Lakeview Hospital: Behavioral Health Unit and Emergency Room, 801-299-2200
Live Hannah’s Hope: Empowering Youth.