As Pitch In For Baseball continues to spread the love of
the game all over the world, we thought that this would be a great way to keep
everyone connected to the latest Pitch In For Baseball happenings. This blog
will be used to update you with current programs, show you the latest warehouse
happenings, and share the excitement of Pitch In For Baseball across the
As we are now entering July, PIFB has had a very
successful first 6 months to 2010. Here are some of the highlights:
- PIFB has helped 94 programs in over 50 communities in the USA and 17 different countries.
- PIFB shipped its 100,00th piece of equipment since its founding in 2005.
- In December, former MLB shortstop Roy Smalley III was elected President of
the PIFB board of directors.
- PIFB continued it’s success as an equipment donation partner with Little
League Baseball International and MLB’s RBI Program.
Pitch In For Baseball (www.pitchinforbaseball.org) is sending much needed equipment and uniforms to help children in flood ravaged Nashville, Tennessee get back on the baseball field.
Equipment and uniforms will be leaving our warehouse on Monday to make sure these kids get back on the field quickly and safely.
After we’ve spoken to the director of the RBI program in Nashville, we know exactly what they need. Their entire storage facility was flooded, so it seems that the items we are sending them will make an important impact on their community in general, but more importantly for the kids there who love to play baseball.
Pitch In For Baseball continues to make amazing impact helping kids gain access to the game of baseball. Recently we celebrated a milestone when we shipped our 100,000th item since our inception.
In other significant news, Roy Smalley III, former Twins All Star is now playing a major role within our organization. As our recently elected Board President he has vowed to help us grow and help more kids to play this great game.
This recent story on MLB.com fills in more of the details. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20100217&content_id=8085490&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
Pitch In For Baseball has had a number of exciting opportunities to help kids around the world over the last 4 years. However, when we were contacted about the chance to introduce baseball to the children of NW Baghdad, we jumped at the chance.
Working in partnership with the U.S. Military, the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sport and Major League Baseball International, we were able to help share our national pastime with some excited kids in Iraq.
The note we received from our military contacts in Baghdad helps tell the story.
I hope all is well in the States. It was a great day for the “Dagger
Brigade.” This morning Soldiers from D Troop 5/4 Cavalry and A Company
403 Civil Affairs Battalion delivered equipment donated from “Pitch in for
Baseball.” Mr Fahkri, a deputy in the Ministry of Youth and Sport, had
invited about 40 children to the equipment drop off. As part of the
delivery the soldiers gave a quick demonstration of the new equipment that
would be shared by the Northwest Baghdad youth centers. Mr. Fahkri said
that they would be forming a league and we would be invited to the first
exhibition game once they have had enough time to practice. It was a great
opportunity for the soldiers. And while there was some tentative children,
many of them were picking up the game quickly and showed a true interest in
the sport. I’ve collected and attached a bunch of the pictures that were
taken during the distribution. Our public affairs team plans on writing a
story on the event. When they’re finished, we’ll make sure you get a copy
of the article. It was a long process to get the equipment into the hands
of some kids. But interest, by the Youth and Sport personnel and the
children, in making the most of the equipment was very promising. Thank you
so much to your organization and for your personal support for this
LT Conor Browne
Assistant Civil Military Operations Officer 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry
Division Camp Liberty, Baghdad, Iraq
Here is a video that shows some great pictures of kids and places that Pitch In For Baseball has been with donations since 2005.
Pitch In For Baseball is a Philadelphia-based organization and I have been a Phillies fan all my life. Harry Kalas passed away suddenly and sadly today and fans of baseball have lost a true treasure.
He brought us Michael Jack Schmidt’s 500th homer, Jim Thome’s 400th, the 1993 bunch of knuckleheads we loved so much and of course the 2008 World Series Champions.
He broadcast every Phillies game I’ve ever heard and replacing him is truly impossible.
Fans of Harry and of Pitch In For Baseball have asked if they can make a donation in his honor. The answer is yes. Donations can be made securely through Pitch In For Baseball’s website at http://www.active.com/donate/pifb/harrykalas
Donations made in Harry’s honor will be used to further our efforts to help underserved children in the city of Philadelphia and around the world gain access to the games of baseball and softball.
We all knew how special his voice and his passion were for the Phillies. For this Phillies lifer, I can’t remember a tougher day.
Founder and Executive Director
Pitch In For Baseball
Galveston, Texas – March 28, 2009 – Not many folks in the Galveston area were thinking about baseball last September when Hurricane Ike pounded the community with storm surge from the Gulf and 120mph winds and rain. Yet six months after that storm altered the landscape of Galveston, Little Leaguers all around the region are kicking off their season thanks to the fortitude and spirit of countless volunteers and the generosity of a non-for-profit charity from the Philadelphia area called Pitch In For Baseball®.
Late in 2005 Pitch In For Baseball joined forces with Little League International to assist Gulf Coast families and leagues affected by the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. When Hurricane Ike came ashore in 2008, Pitch In For Baseball took action. “It was clear to us from the start that the Little League community in Galveston was a special group of people,” said David Rhode, Executive Director of Pitch In For Baseball. “We told them that whatever their equipment needs were we would do our best to get them what they needed to play ball in the spring of 2009.”
However, the damage was so extensive and impacted so many leagues that understanding the totality of the baseball recovery was a complicated task. Some leagues lost their fields, fencing and lighting. Almost all leagues suffered massive losses in their equipment rooms. This is where a Little League volunteer with an extensive military background took over. District Administrator, Charlie Sweetin has responsibility for the leagues in the Galveston Gulf Coast area. “Our league presidents from Galveston Island, Galveston West Isle, Hitchcock, La Marque, League City Seabrook, San Leon, Santa Fe, Texas City and Baytown committed to having a season in 2009. It was simply a matter of understanding what each league needed and then trying to find some way to fill those needs.”
What they didn’t count on was a friend they’ve never met from over 1,500 miles away stepping in to join their team. “When Pitch In For Baseball contacted us in October to see how they could help, it gave us a tremendous feeling of hope,” said Sweetin. “The equipment they promised us gave us confidence in realizing our dream to have Opening Day on schedule in the coming spring.”
As promised, the equipment showed up…over 2,000 pounds of equipment. There were pallets of batting helmets, baseballs, catcher’s gear, bats, batting tees and equipment bags. There were even score books and coaching DVD’s. Local volunteers sorted the donated items and got them distributed to their respective leagues and coaches in time for the start of practice in February.
” We couldn’t have made a donation of this scale without the generous support of passionate baseball fans around the country who believe in our mission,” said Rhode. Anyone wishing to support the ongoing relief effort in Galveston can donate equipment or make a financial donation online through the Pitch In For Baseball website at www.pitchinforbaseball.org.
Much work still needs to be done. Lighting, fencing, score boards and other high ticket items are still on the shopping list for many of the area programs. But for the kids about to taking the field around the Galveston Gulf Coast area, this Opening Day will be one to remember.
Zack Hample joins the Pitch In For Baseball team
New York, NY-Just when the Hot Stove League appeared to be drying up, the dominant player at his position has found his team for 2009. Zack Hample, the recognized leader of snagging baseballs at MLB ballparks, will be bringing his unique talents to the non profit organization Pitch In For Baseball® during the 2009 season.
Zack’s credentials place him at the pinnacle of baseball collectors. Since 1990, he has grabbed more than 3,800 baseballs at 44 different MLB stadiums. What makes this season of snagging so different, however, is that Zack will now be using his unparalleled skills to further the mission of youth baseball and softball non profit partner, Pitch In For Baseball www.pitchinforbaseball.org.
Zack’s plan is simple. He will visit various stadiums, snagging baseballs with his usual array of tricks and insights (he can ask for a ball in over 30 languages). Historically, he has been able to accumulate 200-300 balls per season, including balls from batting practice and live play. Individuals and corporate partners can pledge any amount of money for each ball he grabs during the 2009 season by visiting www.zackhample.com/charity.php.
Zack’s goal for the season is to raise at least $50,000. That translates to 1,000 supporters donating 25 cents for a projected 200 balls snagged. Of course, Zack hopes more than 1,000 supporters join the “Sultan of Snag” and he also hopes to reel in more than 200 balls.
“I love baseball and I love kids,” says Zack. “Getting to snag baseballs for a charity that combines both is a dream come true. I can’t wait for Opening Day!”
Zack will be opening the season with a trip to Toronto April 6-9 in pursuit of Gary Sheffield’s 500th career home run ball and any other ball he can grab during that series.
Pitch In For Baseball collects and redistributes new and “gently used” youth baseball equipment to needy children both here in the U.S. and around the world. “We are delighted to be able to bring Zack onto our team,” says David Rhode, Executive Director of Pitch In For Baseball. “His passion and the passion of his many followers provide a unique and fun way for baseball fans to support our charitable mission.”
About Zack Hample
Zack lives in New York City. He has written two booksHow to Snag Major League Baseballs (1999) and Watching Baseball Smarter (2007) — and has a third on the way (2011) about what else? Baseball!
About Pitch In For Baseball
Founded in 2005, Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB) is the central organization for the collection and redistribution of new and gently used youth baseball and softball equipment to underserved communities both in the U.S. and around the world. PIFB has distributed equipment and uniforms to more than 50 countries worldwide and more than 100 communities around the United States impacting over 60,000 children in need. Based outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PIFB is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization. Contact Executive Director, David Rhode at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last September, the community of Galveston, Texas was devastated by Hurricane Ike. Among other things, Galveston was a hotbed for Little League baseball, with 7 leagues based in the area.
Pitch In For Baseball contacted the local Galveston Little League District Administrator and asked how we could help. What ensued over the coming months was an ongoing dialogue to clearly identify what their needs were and how much of it PIFB could fulfill.
In February, PIFB packaged up and delivered 5 pallets of equipment weighing more than 1 ton. The equipment arrived in Galveston just prior to the start of their first scheduled practices. Opening Day is scheduled for Saturday, March 28. We plan to be in attendance!