Results tagged ‘ Pitch In For Baseball ’

Hall of Fame donation

by David Rhode

For those of you with an interest in collectibles, you should make your way to the Pitch In For Baseball warehouse here in Harleysville, Pennsylvania.  Among the 20,000 plus items on hand is a unique bin of baseballs.  There you will find that we have almost a thousand balls autographed with Hall of Fame signatures like Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams.  The slight problem with these signatures is that they are all fraudulent.

It seems that someone, somewhere thought they could replicate the signatures of famous ballplayers.  It also seems that somewhere along the way their plan got on the radar of the Feds and these balls got confiscated.  Bad news for them, good news for Pitch In For Baseball.

One day we got a call asking if we’d accept these otherwise pristine baseballs as long as we’d be willing to a) make sure the signatures got Sharpeed into oblivion and that b) the balls were shipped overseas.  Done and done.

When you work at a charity that donates equipment, you go through a lot of baseballs.

So now imagine a young child in Slovenia or Cameroon or Mexico having a nice catch with a Joe D “autographed” ball.  Kind of makes you smile.

Meeting a hero

by Tom Schoenfelder

Before working at Pitch In For Baseball, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to meet some of my idols growing up.  My first week on the job I was told I needed to call Zack Hample, ballhawk of all ballhawks and awesome author.  I remember as a twelve year old boy reading his book entitled How to Snag Major League Baseballs.  During that phone call I realized Zack was a normal guy…a normal guy that’s snagged 5,819 baseballs at Major League ballgames.

This past summer I had the pleasure of meeting Zack, along with his family, during a visit to our warehouse in Pennsylvania.  I was asked if I didn’t mind being on camera for a Korean documentary.  Of course I didn’t shy away from the limelight and relished the opportunity to have my 15 mins of fame in far away land.  Here is what ensued…

Zack is a unique person and the best at what he does.  If you do not already follow Zacks blog you are missing out.

My First Glove

by Roy Smalley III

“A glove, a child, a difference” is a perfect summation of our mission at Pitch In For Baseball.  I was asked recently if I could remember getting my first glove.  Remember?  It is a memory I will carry forever.  It was Spring Training in 1958 and I was 5 1/2 years old.  My dad, Roy Smalley Jr (I am Roy III) was with the Philadelphia Phillies.  My dad would take me to the ballpark every morning and I would hang around the dugout watching my heroes go through their workouts.  One day the great Hall of Famer-to-be, Robin Roberts came up to me with an old, worn glove of his, handed it to me and said, “Here young man.  I’d like you to have this.”  I know he meant it to be a souvenir–he even signed it.  But for me, it was my glove–one I would use until my dad bought me my first brand new one when I was 10.  It was ten years of growth too big for me and was too worn for Robin to use, but it was mine.  I took if everywhere, used it in Little League games and had it next to my pillow at night.  I am convinced that using that way-to-big-for-me glove helped develop my “hands” as a young shortstop.  When I did finally get that brand new Rawlings I couldn’t believe how easy catching a groundball was.

I know that very few kids will ever be lucky enough to be given a glove by a major leaguer.  I also know that there are far too many kids who will never be given a glove at all.  The point of my story is not where the glove comes from.  A kid getting a glove is a magical moment.  It is a moment of pure joy that will be relived for days and days to come in the child’s life.  Thank you for continuing to help us bring those moments to more and more kids.  There are so many more magical moments waiting to happen.

Roy Smalley III is the current Board President of Pitch In For Baseball

A Glove, A Child, A Difference

by David Rhode

The theme of this upcoming year at Pitch In For Baseball is “a glove, a child, a difference”.  Pitch In For Baseball is not a difficult concept to grasp.  We collect and redistribute equipment.  The result of that work is to create joy and positive outcomes in the lives of kids by giving them a chance to play a game that so many of us find so special.

At the heart of Pitch In For Baseball is the baseball glove.  It is the item, more than any other, which unlocks the door to the game.  So many of remember having a catch with a sibling, a parent, a grandparent, a friend.  In the days when breaking in a glove was part mad scientist and part urban legend, it was the glove that captured our imagination.

At Pitch In For Baseball, however, the glove is our real bottleneck, our nemesis.  We never have enough donated gloves to meet the needs of those requesting help.  It is the purchasing of new gloves that consumes a big piece of our annual budget.  It is frequently the only item we cannot fulfill to a recipient in the quantity they request.

So if you ever want to know what you can do to help Pitch In For Baseball, the answer is gloves.  Help us unlock the idea that gets more donated. Write us the check that lets us buy more.  The formula for making kids happy is not a mystery.  One more glove brings lasting joy to one more child and that is the difference we are seeking at Pitch In For Baseball.

Here’s to 2012, may it be our best ever!

Baseball weather

by Tom Schoenfelder

With the start of February it usually means two things… its cold outside but spring training right around the corner and I need to find a date for Valentines day.  Beautiful weather like today in the Philadelphia region makes me feel like digging up my old glove.  If you are anything like me, you have a basement full of dusty old equipment and boxes of participation trophies.

Pitch In For Baseball can help…with the equipment.  If your old gear has rounded third, find it a new home.  Go on our website to learn about how you can make a difference in some child’s life.

A True Mittsvah

by David Rhode

Somehow Pitch In For Baseball has become a great landing spot for young boys and girls who are required to conduct a Mitzvah Project in preparation for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  Truth be told, I’m not sure what Pitch In For Baseball would do without them.

Kids are truly the backbone of our organization.  They collect equipment, raise funds, volunteer time in our warehouse.

For those of you not familiar with the term Mitzvah, it’s a Jewish word and loosely translated means “an act of human kindness or good deed”.

In the last 7 years, well over 100 kids have chosen Pitch In For Baseball for their Mitzvah project.  It’s really a great experience for the kids to translate a passion they have for baseball to a meaningful act of philanthropy in helping kids who are less fortunate to be able to receive the equipment needed to play.

This past year we’ve had dozens of great projects and to choose the “best” one is like a parent have to say which child they love the most (Casey).  That said, Jacob Gurvis of Newton, Massachusetts collected a 2011 best 105 gloves  in addition to numerous other items that benefited kids in need.  He called his effort a “Mittsvah”, which was not only creative, but apparently effective as well.  Jacob put together a short video describing his involvement with our organization.  Listen in to hear in his words why connecting with PIFB was meaningful to him.

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

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. 

Equipment donation to flood ravaged Nashville

Nashville RBI donation 7.JPG
Nashville RBI donation 9.JPGPitch In For Baseball ( 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.

PIFB delivers 100,000th item

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 fills in more of the details.