by David Rhode
While Pitch In For Baseball has helped kids in over 70 countries world wide and more than 250 communities here in the US, many of us in the organization are “Philly guys” at heart. I was born and raised in the “greater Northeast”. Many of our Board Members, staff and volunteers are from this area.
Like many major cities, Philadelphia has been impacted by the sluggish economy and budget cuts at the city level have trickled down to the Philadelphia Public Schools. Recently middle school and high school baseball and softball programs have come under real pressure. With a shrinking budget, programs get cut. While equipment is far from the only line item on the baseball budget for a school, it is a real one.
This year Pitch In For Baseball will probably assist more than 2 dozen Philadelphia Public schools with equipment and uniforms. It seems crazy to us that in a city where the professional team sells out every home game that there is not enough support for kids to play in school. That does not mean that we expect the Phillies to pick up the tab. It simply means to point out the deep divide in our society where kids, especially those in the inner cities, don’t have access to the things that so many of us take for granted.
So today we are meeting with the athletic directors from the public schools to again offer our assistance. Nothing makes a bunch of Philly guys prouder than the pictures and letters we get back from an Opening Day game from one of the local teams we’ve helped.