NewsCovering Kentucky


Mental health a priority for Lexington Legends with access to online wellness service

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Posted at 11:09 PM, Jun 13, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A program launched by the Lexington Legends continues to help players on their baseball journey.

The team is working with 'Manual', a standout in mental health tech.

"These players, they're away from home, so this ballpark is their home away from home," says General Manager Justin Ferrarella.

Some have made it to the league, others are working to get back.

The Legends are focusing on their mental health and wellness, and as Ferrarella explains, the team partners with Manual, an online wellness service built to improve men's health.

"Everybody has a bad day, some more than others, right, and for them to be able to log into this portal, and go handle what they need to handle, it's a great way of doing it," says Ferrarella.

Manager Gregg Zaun can remember being 19, 20, 21 years of age, dealing with what he called some 'heavy stuff,' so when the ownership group here with the Legends approached him about this online tool, it was a no-brainer.

"If this is a resource that keeps somebody away from addiction, suicidal thoughts, helps them go on to be more productive adults and members of society, then why wouldn't you do it?"

Manual has a targeted focus on young men who may resist more traditional systems of support.

Baseball players have little margin for error as they climb the pro ranks, and Zaun is well aware since his major league career spanned from 1995 to 2010.

"As long as I played, the difference between making it, not making it, getting to the big leagues, staying in the big leagues is between your ears," says Zaun.

That can take its toll on a baseball player's day-to-day, on and off the field.

"A hitter fails 70 percent of the time if they're great, so that's a lot to deal with," says Zaun.

Zaun calls it a program that's unique to a club in the Atlantic League.

"To give the players all the necessary weapons and tools that they need to be successful ballplayers and successful people," says Zaun.

It's a commitment that speaks to the proactive approach by the Legends.

Those funding the Legends' connection to Manual say they are very impressed with the program's reach.

The Legends also plan to hold a Mental Health Awareness night at the end of the season.