CLEVELAND -- Aaron Laffey wasn't pitching Friday, but he was ready for a different assignment the Indians gave him. Laffey, like seven of his teammates, was matched up with members of the Cleveland and Lorain chapters of the Boys and Girls Club for the Tribe's annual "Shop With A Pro" charity event. Each of the 32 kids from the Boys and Girls Club was given a $100 gift card for the Dick's Sporting Goods store at Crocker Park in Westlake, Ohio, and the players helped them spend it wisely. Laffey felt he was up for this task.
"I'm a bargain shopper," he said proudly. "I never pay full price for anything. I always look for the best deal and don't pull the trigger until I find it." This was good news for young Pete Averyheart, who paired up with Laffey while Laffey's wife, Jackie, navigated the store with three young girls, Elizabeth Beltran, Alize Gray and Cheyenne Russell. "We got a good deal," Laffey said. "We got him a pair of shoes, a pair of basketball shorts, some socks and a basketball, and he still had four or five bucks left over." In addition to Laffey, Chris Gimenez, Tony Sipp, Jhonny Peralta, David Huff, Trevor Crowe, Wyatt Toregas and Jeremy Sowers also took part in "Shop With A Pro," which was held for the third straight year. "They all used their money so wisely," Gimenez said. "They were so conscious of how much stuff costs. I had a lot of fun with them. I got a kick out of it." One kid Gimenez was paired with was up against some tough choices, until Gimenez bailed him out. "He got some football cleats that were 79 bucks," Gimenez said. "Then he said, 'I need a mouthpiece and a receiver's glove.' I said, 'Just throw it in, I'll buy it.'" Yep, this shopping with a pro stuff isn't too shabby.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.