With their red hair and tall, athletic builds, Adam LaRoche and Blaine Boyer are often mistaken for brothers. And so they are - just not by blood.
In 2000, they both were drafted by the Atlanta Braves, where their careers began; Boyer, 36, is nearing the end of his career, while LaRoche, 37, walked away from a $12 million-a-year contract with the Chicago White Sox in 2016 to spend more time with his teenage son.
But what really unites them are their twin passions for God and fighting human trafficking.
It started six years ago with financial support for a mutual friend involved with another anti-trafficking group, then took off after they were invited to Thailand to see the devastation of the issue firsthand.
“It wrecked us both to the point where we felt like there’s no doubt God has thrust us into this field,” Boyer tells Citizen.
The two met Jeremy Mahugh through a mutual friend, Marcus Luttrell (the former Navy SEAL of Lone Survivor fame; his wife, Melanie is on DeliverFund’s board of directors.) Out of the 20 anti-trafficking groups they checked out, they decided eight months ago their efforts would be best utilized here.
So they’ve come to Houston to help however they can in Operation Game Changer. Renting their own tricked-out camper (hooked up in the back of a church parking lot), they’ve struggled through the case-building software in the war room before settling in to a more natural fit as the field teams’ second unit.
“All these guys’ backgrounds are so legit,” Boyer said. “It fires you up.”
And fighting trafficking, they say, in a mission all men can get behind.
“Jesus rescued us from bondage. So it’s a natural fit for men, especially as believers, to gravitate toward this,” Boyer says. “God didn’t create us to be pansies. I challenge any man to look into this situation and not be motivated in some capacity.”