Inside Pitch Magazine, November/December 2023

Last Inning: Baseball for Dad

by Adam Revelette

Mark's Buddy Bench at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on his 2023 Mark Snider was a baseball fan who held steady work, was married to his best friend, had two beautiful children, loved the outdoors and kept tabs on many close friends. All of a sudden, an unfortunate and unlucky chain of events that included changes at work, a house fire and the stressors of providing for a family, Mark began to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and eventually manic/depressive states. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Surrounded by loved ones, Mark made a concerted effort to improve, consulted by a myriad of professionals, and took varying medications, which were subject to change in type and dosage. Long waiting times before and increased stints in between appointments, a general shortage in available psychiatrists, counselors and doctors, and visits that lasted less than half an hour made it tough on everyone involved to answer the lingering question Mark had, “What if I can’t get better?”

Two weeks before he passed, Mark had been back in touch with friends, came up from his room to join family meals, and spent much more time with his children. His family knew better than to assume he was free and clear—were the new meds having this effect? Was this just a longer swing of normal behavior that they’d seen glimpses of before? 

And one fateful morning, Mark jumped into his truck, drove to the back of the property to feed his dogs like always, and took his own life.

“I will never say ‘committed suicide,’ rather I will say his life was taken by mental illness, or died by suicide,” Mark’s mother Louri shared. “I want people to talk about mental health and our mental health system. I want people who are struggling to know that they’re not alone, and it’s okay not to be okay. I want their families to know that they are not alone.”

Mental Illness is a disease, much like any other diseases like cancer. Those that fight it are in for the battle of their lives. Some recover thanks to meds and treatment, for others it’s not so simple. Louri started Baseball for Dad to increase knowledge and awareness about mental health and suicide in memory of Mark, one glove at a time.

The concept is simple: get a gently-used or new baseball glove, print a Baseball for Dad card (, put it in a special place, and send a picture with a short story and/or location included. Those who find gloves are encouraged to take a picture with it, take it for your own use if you’d like, and keep the chain of love and giving—two of Mark’s greatest qualities—going.

“When we share Mark’s qualities with others,” added Louri, “it helps make him present in our lives.” Those interested can also contribute in other ways per the website. 

Like most of us, Mark’s love of baseball started before we can remember. Baseball had been in the Snider family for generations, bringing the family together for summertime tournaments. “There's no greater bond than playing a sport together,” said Louri, “hours of cherished memories for us all. Mark and his sister Tegan played ball on the same team for many years…Mark played third base and Tegan played first. They were an unstoppable pair. Our evenings playing catch as a family in the backyard paid off when he fired balls across the infield. Naturally when Mark and his wife Paige had children, they shared their love of the sport with them, spending hours at the ballpark.”

“We definitely bonded as a couple and family over the love for baseball,” added Paige. 

Mark’s love for the game is one that most readers of this magazine can relate with. Most of us are less familiar with the battles he and his family fought. Even something as simple as placing a glove and sharing Mark’s story can create positive change. “We’re still bonding, healing and working towards knocking mental health stigma ‘out of the park,’” Louri said, “and Mark is with us every step of the way.” 

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