Man walking from Fairfield to Great American Ball Park did it in 7 hours

Eric Judd created a GoFundMe account, wants to raise at least $5,000 for the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields.

For the second consecutive year, a Butler County man made the 20-plus-mile trek on foot from his home to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati in support of the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields.

It took him around 7 hours to complete, finishing just after 2 p.m. after leaving Fairfield at 7 a.m. He wanted to do the walk because he believes in the Nuxhall’s mission after knowing them for more than two decades, and has been raising money for the Miracle League since before it was built 10 years ago.

“We’ve done a golf outing for 12 years now, but this is a little bit different,” said Judd, who’s helped to produce the McKinley’s Pub Miracle League Outing, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars over the years. He said the golf outing “kinda got a little stale this year” and started to train with Ben Otto, the Fairfield man who made the journey last year for the Miracle League, this past spring. Otto couldn’t do it, but Judd made the commitment and wanted to see it through.

The goal is to raise at least $5,000 to support the special needs athletes for the complex named in honor of the Ol’ Lefthander, the late Joe Nuxhall. Anyone wanting to support Judd’s walk after the fact can do so on his GoFundMe fundraising page:

Otto, of Fairfield, raised $12,000 to support the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League.

“We love the creativity and dedication that our supporters show for our mission, and this is about as unique as it gets,” said Tyler Bradshaw, executive director of The Nuxhall Foundation, which manages the miracle league fields and other projects in the name of Joe Nuxhall.

Judd, who has two young daughters, 3 years and 4 months, said ever since he’s had his kids

“When I see other kids struggling, because I’m fortunate to have healthy children, but when I see other kids struggling, it just tears me up on the inside.”

A goal of Judd’s is to teach his children to have compassion and tolerance for others who may not have the same abilities as she does. He hadn’t been to the fields this season because of his new child, but took his oldest daughter last year because he “wanted to make sure she saw that other kids who have disabilities couldn’t play like her and couldn’t do the same things she could.”

As of mid-Tuesday afternoon, fundraising was at just more than $1,800, and it’s okay if he doesn’t make the $5,000 goal.

“If it doesn’t get to that amount, it still gets exposure for the fields,” Judd said. “It’s really hard to express what those fields do for those kids and adults unless you see them. The message Ben and I have been trying to get out for years is for people to go visit the fields physically and go see them.”

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