Results tagged ‘ baseball charity ’

Uganda baseball–continued success

Many of you may not know that the Little League team from Uganda that qualified for this past year’s Little League World Series, never made the trip to Williamsport due to trouble and challenges obtaining their visas.  They would have been the first team from Africa to ever take the field in Williamsport.  You certainly wouldn’t know that the team Uganda was scheduled to play (Canada) in the Little League World Series recently made a visit to Uganda to play this game.  For what it’s worth, in a game that was delayed almost six months, Uganda beat Canada 2-1.  The outcome itself is immaterial.  What mattered most was that the experience for both the Canadian and Ugandan kids was one they will never forget and for that we should all smile and say “job well done”.

Ugandan Little League players celebrate their 2-1 victory against the Canadian team from Langley, British Columbia. Felix "Abooki" Barugahare is hoisted on his teammates shoulders after scoring the winning run.

The success and passion for baseball in Uganda is truly special and inspiring.  There are many people who deserve credit and there are many folks who get recognized for their role in that success.  Jimmy Rollins and Derrek Lee made the recent trip to Uganda and helped bring much needed attention to the potential of the game in the region.  Ruth Hoffman and her organization Right to Play helped raise the funds that made the trip and playing of the exhibition game possible.  Jay Shapiro and his group are helping to tell the Uganda Baseball story in a beautiful documentary that will hopefully be released later this year.  Richard Stanley is the engine behind much of the growth of Little League in Uganda.  He has put up a tremendous amount of his own money and dedicated years of effort to see things reach this point.  All this is good stuff.

Funny thing is, they wouldn’t be playing much baseball without equipment and most of the equipment they are receiving is from Pitch In For Baseball.  We’ve helped the program in Uganda for the last 5 years.  It is one of the true success on our organization’s resume. While privately we are genuinely thanked from all parties for role we play, when push comes to shove, the attention and the financial resources fall onto other groups for the role they play.  This isn’t sour grapes, this is reality.  Equipment isn’t sexy.  Yet, in the thousands of projects we’ve completed in 7 years and the several hundred thousand kids we’ve impacted, the passion kids feel for baseball would be just a dream without the equipment to make that dream a reality.

Making dreams a reality is what Pitch In For Baseball specializes in.  We invite you to get involved with our organization so you can be part of the joy we help spread both here in the US and around the world.

Pitching in 2010

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
web!

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. 

Galveston’s Re Opening Day

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.

 


Galveston 5.JPG