On The Move…Again!
By Jim Toedtman
Posted January 29, 2016

MLB Pitcher Johnny Cueto to visit St. Peter's optical clinic mission team.

Haydee Toedtman

In this photograph, Missioner Haydee Toedtman is shown putting the final touches on a shipment of more than 4,500 pairs of eyeglasses that will be distributed to people in San Pedro de Macoris, This is the third annual trip sponsored by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Savannah, GA, to this location. It will include parishioners — doctors, opticians and volunteers — from Savannah, Rincon and Valdosta — who expect to see nearly 1,000 San Pedro de Macorís residents during their work at the Clínica Esperanza y Caridad.

The team of 18 will be in San Pedro de Macorís for one week, from January 30 through February 6, 2016. The patients will receive full eye examinations and, where appropriate, will be fitted for prescription glasses or readers. The team has secured 7,000 reading and prescription glasses from sources that included the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation and the Delaware Lions Sight Team. The glasses from Delaware were cleaned and sorted by inmates in the Delaware State Corrections department. For future trips, the team has received two van-loads of additional glasses — roughly 50,000 pairs of sunglasses and reading glasses for future trips.

Haydee Toedtman

The group has already shipped 55 pounds of baseball equipment — bats, balls, shirts and catchers’ gear — for the children of San Pedro de Macorís, a gift from the Flagler College baseball team in St. Augustine, FL, and its coach, David Barnett. The team is bringing another bag of baseballs, hats, and catchers’ gear in their checked luggage.

During their week working in Clínica Esperanza y Caridad, the team has a visit scheduled from Johnny Brent Cueto Ortiz, who is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. He previously played for the Cincinnati Reds from 2008 through 2015 and the World Champion Kansas City Royals in 2015. As a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, Cueto started in Game two of the 2015 World Series, pitched a complete game and only gave up two hits and one run to give the Royals a 7–1 victory over the New York Mets and a 2–0 series lead. Cueto became the first AL pitcher to throw a complete game in the World Series since Minnesota’s Jack Morris in 1991. On December 16, 2015, Cueto signed a six-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Cueto is a native of San Pedro de Macorís, and responded positively to an invitation sent by missioner Jim Toedtman to all of the MLB players from that city. The team is looking forward to his visit, which they hope might generate more interest in the Dominican Episcopal Church and the incoming mission teams from the United States by other MLB players who reside in the Dominican Republic.