Do you remember the time you received your first baseball glove? Remember how it felt playing catch with it? Pitch In For Baseball makes this experience happen for children throughout the United States and over 75 countries worldwide. Children in underserved communities as close as Philadelphia and in far off countries like Uganda, do not have the proper equipment to play baseball. Pitch In For Baseball is able to help by collecting and redistributing gently used equipment such as baseballs, helmets, and catchers gear.
With more awareness more families and local leagues will find out about Pitch In For Baseball and want to get involved. The more people that know about Pitch In For Baseball the more children around the world we can help. By picking Pitch In For Baseball you will allow more children around the world to play the game of baseball.
Baseball has a greater impact than just on the field. Giving children the opportunity to play baseball will help teach them leadership and good sportsmanship. Just like your fond memories of playing catch and your first glove, those children helped by Pitch In For Baseball will never forget either.
Thank you for considering our organization.
–Pitch In For Baseball
by David Rhode
There are few times when we can say that someone is truly unique…a true one of kind person. Pitch In For Baseball has the pleasure of associating with one such person. You may have already heard of him. His name is Zack Hample.
A kid at heart hardly describes Zack’s enthusiasm for baseball. Zack has been attending games his whole life, but that’s far from a unique story. Zack snags baseballs at games and does so at a rate that is hard to believe. Last season he snagged over a 1,000 batting practice, foul balls, home run balls and various other balls at Major League stadiums. He has snagged just over 5,900 balls at 49 different parks in his lifetime including a streak of over 800 consecutive games with at least 1 ball.
For the last 3 years, Zack has generously donated to Pitch In For Baseball by having folks pledge a certain amount for each ball he can grab during a season. He’ll surpass $20,000 in donations by the end of this season. You can join the team of folks helping in this fashion by registering here.
Moreover, Zack is an accomplished author of 3 baseball books. They make a great read for any fan of the game.
In this “me too” world, Zack has a number of followers and I daresy wanna bees. But for those who’ve met him there is only 1 Zack Hample and I’m glad he’s our friend.
by Jessica Bicker
The joy in a kid’s eyes as he pulls on his very first glove from a box sent from Pitch In For Baseball is inspiring. We often describe such moments to donors and fans of our organization, but words do not always fully capture the incredible results of our donations. That’s why we love when we have photographs to share.
We want to be able to share more moments like these, and that’s why Pitch In For Baseball is launching a photo contest.
We are asking anyone who has ever received Pitch In For Baseball equipment to enter the contest, and of course, there is a great grand prize: brand new baseballs (or softballs) for your team for an entire season.
Here’s what you need to do to enter:
-Submit your best photos of players on your team using equipment donated from Pitch In For Baseball (we included a couple of great examples in this post).
-Your photo should capture the joy that our organization brings to kids across the world (no team photos – we’re looking for inspiring images).
-Attach your photo(s) as an attachment in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the name of your team, coach’s name, and coach’s email address.
Submission deadline: Wednesday, May 23. Voting will occur June 1 – 8.
Be sure to like us on Facebook and check for contest updates.
Note: Your participation in the contest acknowledges the support of Pitch In For Baseball within all public documents, websites, press materials and public statements related to the program or league.
by Tom Schoenfelder
When asked today how the internship went by a board member, Dustin replies…it was fun.
Who says that about an internship? Especially one that’s unpaid.
For the past three months Jim Dailey and Dustin Pickert, two juniors at Temple University, came in for two days a week to work as interns at Pitch In For Baseball. Last year between the same three month period we were able to help 34 programs…this year we’ve helped over 70. There is no doubt in my mind that their work truly made a difference.
When they first started I expected the stereotypical college student. Tired, hungover, and lazy. Instead on their first day they arrived before doors opened at 9:00 am ready for whatever we had instore for them.
The weeks following were the same. I began looking forward to the days they would work. Today being their last day I’ll end with the sappy line Jim told me he wrote in his final paper.
“I started as an intern and left a friend” – Jim Dailey II
by David Rhode
Opening Day is special everywhere. But at least this year, maybe more so in the country of Japan. On March 11, 2011 just a little over 1 year ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck this passionate baseball nation.
With the financial support of the Major League Baseball Players Trust, Pitch In For Baseball had the privilege of providing equipment to 40 school based and Little League programs.
Well as you can see from the pictures below, baseball in Japan is back as youth leagues participated in the annual right of spring known everywhere as Opening Day. The pagentry of their ceremonies shows the respect they have for the game. The joy and concentration on the faces of the kids is universal.
by David Rhode
One of the most memorable people and memorable stories from our trip to Henryville, Indiana was the chance to meet a young boy who as you can see is best known to his friends as “Spike”.
10 year old Colin and his family lost their home in the EF4 tornado that struck their community on March 2nd. Although his family is doing well, everyone in the family was injured that day, but the quick-thinking Spike. Why you might ask. Well he put on his batting helmet and that helped him weather the dramatic events of the day.
If you want to meet Spike and some of the other members of the Henryville Youth Baseball Association who were imacted by our recent equipment donation, just check out our video below.
by David Rhode
Opening Day in any youth league is a time of anticipation, fun, chaos and occasionally some baseball mixed in. However for the community of Henryville, Indiana, the 2012 Opening Day ceremonies were a time of particular significance. You see in this day and age of short attention spans the name Henryville, Indiana may not mean much to most people. Therefore, let me take you back just 6 weeks to when this community was devastated by an EF4 tornado on March 2nd.
So for Henryville the idea that on April 14 they’d be gathering with smiles on their faces to kick off their baseball season would have seemed impossible. Pitch In For Baseball, Louisville Slugger and countless other caring individuals provided equipment, financial support and manpower to help them get back on their feet.
I had the privilege along with fellow Pitch In For Baseball Board Member, John Yengo, of attending their Opening Day this past Saturday. The kids were great. We met “Spike” and “Big Poppi” and coaches and league administrators who through their efforts were able to give kids the chance to play ball. The sentiments we heard echoed time and again on Saturday was how important it was to give both the kids and the community something that resembled normalcy even when things around them were anything but that.
With massive construction going on down the street at the school, Henryville is still a work in progress. However if the spirit exhibited Saturday is any indication, I think there are many good days ahead.
For more pictures from Henryville’s Opening Day, visit the Pitch In For Baseball Facebook page. www.facebook.com/#!/PitchInForBaseball
by Tom Schoenfelder
During skype calls to Hungary and Mongolia, I never refer to Pitch In For Baseball as a Harleysville based organization. Before taking the job at Pitch In For Baseball, Harleysville might as well have been Hungary or Mongolia. Instead I tell applicants that we are located in Philadelphia. While our physical location may not be there, our presence is surely in Philadelphia. In late February I spoke for a minute at an Athletic Directors meeting and the response to hearing about PIFB was overwhelming. With budget cuts looming, coaches from over twenty high school and middle school teams in the city requested the aide of Pitch In For Baseball.
Some teams looked to supplement what little they had, while others had nothing. Between paying a coach and the transportation of the team, there is little money left for the equipment needed to play. For a few teams it is their inaugural year and they are filled with a team of players who have never played before and no equipment for them to use. While handing over the equipment has become quite ordinary due to amount of times I have done it, seeing the excitement on the faces of the coaches never gets old.
- 70 Programs
- 9,029 total pieces of equipment
- 852 gloves
- 117 catcher sets
- 3,816 baseballs
- 608 helmets
- 559 bats
- 1,242 pants
- 732 jerseys
- 588 softballs
- 21 sets of bases
By Jim Dailey
The other day I was going through old gloves from the 1950’s and 1960’s that were donated to Pitch In For Baseball and began thinking about the history of these gloves. I realized that people aren’t just donating a glove; they are donating memories.
Former baseball players enjoy talking about their playing days and reminisce about their playing in high school and making the game saving catch to win the championship for their team. Some people may have emotional feelings towards their old gloves. Those gloves may invoke memories of growing up having a catch in the backyard with their dad.
Pitch In for Baseball is not just helping the children play baseball; it’s about giving children the tools needed to make memories last a lifetime.