American actor Denis Leary once said, "Crisis doesn’t create character; it reveals it."
For better or worse, the respiratory tract infection known as the coronavirus has revealed a number of people’s character.
As for Connor Rubin, this global crisis has inspired the Hudson teenager to create his own critically acclaimed show.
However, Rubin’s version of "Rescue Me" is not about a fictional firefighter trying to help those in need. Rubin is a baseball player and he wants to "hit a home run" and "make a difference" when it comes to this deadly pandemic.
Thanks to Rubin, along with some help from his teammates, those infected with this dangerous virus may get much-needed aid sooner than later.
Rubin created a website last month called strikeoutcovid19.com to help raise money to combat this dangerous infection.
Rubin is a junior outfielder on the Hudson baseball team. He also is a member of the travel baseball team known as the Premier Athletics, which makes its home in Strongsville.
Rubin’s classmates, Charlie Draper, Ben Coates and Aiden Bangos, play for both squads. The four Explorer standouts, along with their Premier Athletics’ teammates, created a video to show their support for this worthy cause.
"The whole idea is just to help a lot of people who are in need due to the virus," Rubin said. "I wrote a script and sent it to my teammates. Everybody said their line while throwing a baseball to the next guy. At the end, I toss it up and hit a home run."
Rubin and his teammates chose the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund as their charity. This fund, which was established on March 18, is a coalition of Northeast Ohio philanthropic, corporate and civic partners who joined together to deploy resources to nonprofit organizations serving on the frontlines of the pandemic in the Greater Cleveland area.
This is not the first time Rubin thought about others who are less fortunate than himself.
When he was younger, Rubin created a website to help raise more than $3,000 for special needs’ kids and homeless people through Bellefaire JCB, a mental health service in University Heights.
"I have a passion for film, production and writing," Rubin said. "StrikeoutCOVID-19 is definitely for people in need. It could be used for providing masks or for a food drive. I thought it was something that would be really good to do."
Helen Keller would agree.
The 20th-century author and political activist, who became a revolutionary symbol of courage despite being blind and deaf for most of her life, may have said it best when it comes to Rubin’s desire to help others.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."
"I just think it’s a great thing to do," said Draper, a pitcher/third baseman. "It was an amazing idea. If every single player contributes, we should make some nice money for the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund."
If they do get to play this summer, donations will be made whenever an Athletics’ player records a strikeout or slaps a base hit.
"I really liked the idea," said Coates, a catcher/outfielder. "I think it’s a good cause. A lot of people are trying to help this cause."
The four Hudson juniors may get a chance to make their purpose known in some other capacity besides the internet.
That would be the diamond.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently stated that "low-contact or non-contact sports can resume on May 26 if they meet safety protocols" on his Twitter account.
Bangos certainly likes the governor’s idea. He’s a huge fan of Rubin’s project too.
"The whole goal is to encourage the governor to let us play," said Bangos, a pitcher/middle infielder. "I’m hoping to play. With stuff like this, it’s good to come together as a team."
Whether they play or don’t play, Rubin and his pals will continue to make their priorities known as long as this nightmarish pandemic continues.
Much like American politician Rahm Emanuel, these selfless baseball players learned to "never let a serious crisis go to waste."
"I get to play with an awesome group of guys," Rubin said. "They stepped forward and I’m really proud of them."
To make a donation, visit Rubin’s website or contact him at email@example.com.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_Gannett.