ROCHESTER (WXYZ) - The 12-year-old boy who collapsed during baseball practice is being remembered for his goofy jokes, warming smile and kind heart that touched many lives in a short time.
Joseph Salsberry, better known as Cooper, passed away on Saturday shortly after falling unconscious during practice.
“Cooper was just a great kid, one of the kids on the team that just kept everybody upbeat,” said Craig Butterworth, assistant coach of Cooper’s Diamond Dawgs baseball team.
The team was beginning its practice on Saturday at the Friendship Park in Lake Orion by running laps around the diamond. “They got half way around to center field, and I looked up, and I saw Cooper was down,” Butterworth said. He along with another coach and Cooper’s mother ran to help him. They performed CPR until an ambulance arrived. The boy was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
As doctors worked on Cooper, his teammates weren’t ready to leave the field. “They didn’t want to go home, and they actually just played catch for a few minutes,” said Butterworth. “I turned around and the boys, the rest of the team, dropped their mitts, and went out to center field and held hands said a prayer.”
Cooper’s other passion was hockey. His grandmother told Action News he had been playing almost since he could walk. He had played with his team, the Troy Sting, on Friday during a tournament. On Sunday, one day after his death, they took to the ice in the championship game and won, but their absent goalie was on everyone’s mind. “The other team one by one laid a puck at the net. It was pretty touching,” said Butterworth, who attended the game to support Cooper.
The boy’s parents, John and Kerrie Salsberry, told Action News he didn’t have a known medical condition. Through tears, his mother said she was proud of him for being an organ donor.
The Oakland County medical examiner’s office says autopsy results are pending.
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