Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford grateful for support after family home burns down

Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford grateful for support after family home burns down

Sometimes we forget, but professional athletes, though often placed on a societal pedestal and perceived as immortals from Olympus, can see the same disasters and personal crises befall them as do the rest of the mere mortals.In the early morning hours of the week between Christmas and New Year’s, Blue Jays outfield prospect Anthony Alford received a panicky call from his little sister, Ayanna. The 16-year-old had awoken to a popping sound, rushing into the main house only to discover that the family home in Columbia, Mississippi, where she lived with their parents, was ablaze. They all escaped unharmed.By the time Anthony, 22, had driven the 30 minutes down Highway 44 from Sumrall, also the home of NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback Brett Favre, the destruction of the family home was underway and uncontrollable. In the days after the fire that destroyed all of his childhood memorabilia and all of his parents’ possessions, an online fund-raising site was set up that has been successful in raising over $14,000 for the rebuild of the family home.“It’s going really well, thanks to the support in the community, thanks to guys like Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis our front office,” Alford said. “They’ve been a really good support group for me and my family. Thanks to the people here in the city of Toronto. They got behind and helped donate and really reached out to encourage us as a family to just keep pushing.”Article Continued BelowAmazingly, this is not the first time that disaster has affected Alford’s family at home in Mississippi. Days before Christmas, 2014, a series of devastating tornadoes ripped through rural Mississippi destroying the home of his grandmother, a place where he grew up and spent much of his childhood.“It was a house that had a lot of memories,” Alford recalled. “It was devastating the fact that we grew up in the house, pretty much. We spent a lot of time there and it’s gone.”Alford’s future as a major-league player is bright. Prior to the 2012 draft, Alford and Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston were considered the best two sport high school prospects — baseball and football. Winston is on his way to NFL all-pro status. Alford signed with the Jays after they allowed him to continue with college . After a failed season as starting quarterback at Southern Miss and a season as a defensive back at Mississipi, he chose baseball.

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