Alachua-area youth baseball community reels after loss of teammates

Thomas J. Weber

A mural painted Wednesday on the Northwest 34th Street wall in Gainesville honors the lives of youth baseball players Rex Reinhart, 14, and Brody Reinhart, 11, who were believed killed by their father, Paul O. Reinhart, 46, on May 4 at the family's vacation home near Suwannee in western Florida.

Rex and Brody Reinhart, the two young boys believed to have been killed by their father this week, were elite youth baseball players known across the region for their passion about the sport. It defined their short lives.

Teammates, coaches and parents of players – along with the boys’ family members in Gainesville – have mourned their loss since the boys’ deaths Tuesday. Their mother, Minde Reinhart, 42, has been a fixture at ballfields across Florida cheering for her sons. The two had played since they were very young.

Brody, 11, regularly an unofficial batboy for the No. 10-ranked University of Florida baseball team, was seen by tens of thousands of fans at games returning bats to the home dugout after a hit. Rex, 14, was a dominant pitcher in his age group, coached on a travel team by former Major League star Gary Sheffield, 52, of Tampa, who admired his tenacity.

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