by David Rhode
Tonight is a Pitch In For Baseball Board of Directors meeting. If my math is close to correct, this will be our 43rd such meeting since our inception. Nothing magical about the number, it’s just that it gives me pause to think back to our very first meeting as an organization.
The date was September 20, 2005. Unlike now when we actually can have meetings in our conference room of our office/warehouse, in those days we met around my dining room table. My wife and kids and pets scattered. I set out some food. We had an agenda and off we went.
The start of anything is exciting. As a group, we really had no idea what to expect when we “opened our doors” for business. At the time we had just a concept and a name. Pitch In For Baseball. No website…no equipment…no money…just some friends and I trying to see if we could launch a baseball charity.
The backdrop of the meeting was that the country was going through a very emotional time. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had just hit the Gulf Coast region within the last month. While the original focus of our organization was intended to be on international assistance, we knew immediately that our initial focus should be on getting kids in that region back on the field of play.
We set a goal to assist 3 programs in 2006. We had no idea what that really meant since we hadn’t really defined what a donation would consist of, but 3 has always been my lucky number so 3 it was. In reality, we accomplished much more, bringing much needed resources to 16 programs here in the US and around the world. More than half that assistance went to communities in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida.
The growth over the last 6 years has been extremely rewarding. We now work as partners with Little League International, USA Baseball, Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association, Babe Ruth Baseball and the list goes on. We’ve shipped equipment to over 70 countries worldwide and over 250 communities here in the United States.
We’ve reached some important conclusions during this time frame.
- Helping kids play baseball matters.
- Bringing joy to kids never gets old.
- We have a lot more work to do.
We invite you to join us in that effort. Visit us at Pitch In For Baseball and join our team. Our work is fun, it’s important and you can make a difference.