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Williamsport Crosscutters More Than Just Baseball Players to Host Families

WILLIAMSPORT -- Take a look at Debi Burch's fridge. She doesn't have children of her own, but that doesn't mean she can't be a proud mama.

"They're my boys. Many of them are so far away from home that their families never get here so we're their family," Burch, a Williamsport Crosscutters host family, said.

Every summer for the past 10 years Debi Burch and her husband have opened their home here in Williamsport to complete strangers, who also happen to play baseball for the Williamsport Crosscutters.

Both baseball fans, Debi and her husband are one of several host families who rent a room, apartment or home to Williamsport Crosscutters players during the summer ball season.

"It's fun we have kids like all over the place. We have some kids that are in Europe but they stay in touch," Burch said.

With opening day a little over a month away the Single-A affiliate for the Philadelphia Phillies needs families willing to house one or more players for the summer.

Management at the Crosscutters will tell you, when you host a player you get more than just another roommate. There are some perks including tickets to the ball games.

"You can come watch your player all 38 home games. You also get a weekly stipend," Nate Schneider, Williamsport Crosscutters, said.

Housing a player will be much more than simply renting a room.

"Being in a minor league baseball is very challenging so having a place that they are comfortable and they can call home for their three months in Williamsport is a huge part of the experience of being a Crosscutter," Schneider said.

"We stay in touch with these kids. They do they really become a part of the family," Burch said.