Results tagged ‘ Roy Smalley III ’

The Red Cross of Baseball

by David Rhode

Bryan Donaldson, Senior Director of Community Relations for the Minnesota Twins, recently described Pitch In For Baseball as the Red Cross of Baseball. It put a smile on my face because we take great pride in helping youth baseball communities in their times of greatest need.

On Wednesday, February 13 we really did feel like the Red Cross of Baseball. That day, our operations manager, Tom Schoenfelder, drove a truck full of gear and uniforms from Harleysville, PA to Long Island, NY to meet the smiling and warm faces of the volunteers and children of Oceanside and Island Park Little Leagues. Together, he and I offloaded boxes, Red Cross style into the arms of the league administrators and parents whose leagues lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.

Pat Doherty, President of Oceanside American LL, carries a box to its new home

Pat Doherty, President of Oceanside American LL, carries a box to its new home

bags of uniforms will be worn once again

bags of uniforms will be worn once again

When you drive up to both field complexes, you are immediately struck by one thing…the water is REALLY close.  At Oceanside, the water is about 10 feet behind the outfield fence forming their own youth baseball version of McCovey Cove.  Great when a kid hits a homer, bad when a Hurricane and rising tides hits your town.  At Island Park, the same scene exists…water creating a scenic backdrop in the near distance toward right field.   Except on October 29, 2012 those waters got a lot closer.  In fact over 5 feet of water covered their entire field complex and filled their equipment sheds.

But this past Wednesday was a different story, a story of hope and renewal.  Many of these families are still not back into their homes.  But on this day, they could feel a sense of comfort at least knowing that their children would be able to take the fields this spring when Little League season begins.  Their smiling faces tell the real story of the day.

Pitch In For Baseball’s President, former MLB all-star Roy Smalley III, puts it this way, “as communities get on their feet it’s important to restore a sense of normalcy and nothing is more normal than youngsters taking the baseball fields in the Spring.  We hope helping replacing some of the baseball equipment that was lost will allow these people to focus upon rebuilding their lives.”

Oceanside and Island Park represent the first chapter of an evolving story.  Over the next few weeks, we will have the privilege to deliver much needed equipment and uniforms to Bayonne, Bayshore, North Merrick, Rockaway and East Rockaway.  They all share a similar story in regards to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  They all share a deep gratitude for the donations they are about to receive.

We’d like to take full credit for the items they receive, but in truth Pitch In For Baseball is merely the product of the generous donations that we receive.  Kids doing Bar Mitzvah projects, leagues making equipment and financial donations, manufacturers sending things our way.  They all add up and they enable us to respond when called up.  Do we respond like the Red Cross…I guess so.  Unlike the Red Cross, however, we deliver joy and we’re ok with that.

For those want to learn more please visit http://www.pitchinforbaseball.org/html/.  We’d love for you to join our team.  Maybe you want to start and equipment collection in your community or make a financial contribution to help out our Sandy Relief initiative.  You could also text “give gloves” to 80088 to donate $10 (normal text messaging rates apply).

Receiving a new glove takes the edge off a cold winter day

Receiving a new glove takes the edge off a cold winter day

Not hard to picture these guys on the field together in the next few weeks

Not hard to picture these guys on the field together in the next few weeks

Our MVV

by David Rhode

While it may seem a little early to be proclaiming postseason awards, this one is a shoe in.  Justin Briant is Pitch In For Baseball’s 2012 MVV…Most Valuable Volunteer.

Many non profit organizations will say that “volunteers are the backbone of our organization”.  Well, when you ship equipment to dozens of countries around the world and over a hundred communities domestically each year with just 2 full-time staff people, than you better have some awesome volunteers.  Thankfully, we do.

Justin is the kind of person who motivates me and gives me confidence that Pitch In For Baseball is truly a special cause worth supporting.  He has caught the Pitch In For Baseball bug and apparently he is in no danger of getting over it any time soon.  Justin is a high school senion in Edina, Minnesota.  He has singlehandedly help launch PIFB’s Minneapolis branch of the organization and has helped well over 1,000 kids in his area gain access to baseball and softball through the equipment he has helped collect and distribute.

Justin has helped fan the flames of the need to collect equipment among youth baseball organizations in his and neighboring towns; worked side by side with PIFB Board President Roy Smalley III to raise awareness for our mission; volunteered at Target Field when the Twins help Pitch In For Baseball collect equipment; spent many a night or weekend meeting prospective donors to help receive their donated goods; and helped organize and maintain donated warehouse space first in a downtown facility and now in his family’s garage.

(Roy Smalley III on left and Justin Briant on right)

In one more case of the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Justin’s dad Tom has been a huge advocate for Pitch In For Baseball…first supporting Justin’s various collection initiatives and then lately reaching out to members of his professional network to raise funds for our organization.

So, when you hear that volunteers are the backbone of our organization, think of Justin and the entire Briant Family and know that Pitch In For Baseball has already set the bar high to be our MVV for 2013.

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

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. 

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 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