My buddy Roy Smalley isthe new president of Pitch In for Baseball (www.pitchinforbaseball.org). I'm going to have him on Sunday Sports Talk at 10:20 this week, to discuss spring training, the Twins, and his work with this charity, which supplies baseball equipment to children who might not otherwise be able to play the game, whether because of financial hardships, natural disasters or a lack of exposure to baseball.
Pitch In For Baseball recently distributed its 100,000th piece of equipment. Roy told me he hopes the organization's influence will only grow.
Here's a portion of the press release provided to me by Roy's daughter, Catherine Smalley:
-The organization’s new President Roy Smalley III and Executive Director and Founder David Rhode announced this week that Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB) had recently shipped its 100,000th piece of equipment since its founding in 2005.
In the coming year, PIFB, an equipment donation partner of Little League Baseball International, MLB International, MLB’s RBI program, and the International Baseball Federation, intends to make even more equipment available to even more young ballplayers.
“With the start of the season approaching, this is our busiest time of the year,” said Rhode. “We have dozens of programs lined up to receive support, including emerging youth baseball leagues in countries like Uganda, Brazil and India to programs around the United States in cities like Pittsburgh, Chicago and Houston to deserving groups right down the road with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation and the Philadelphia Public Schools.”
PIFB is headquartered in Harleysville, PA, just outside of Philadelphia, distributing equipment from its warehouse facility. Among the highlights of those 100,000 pieces of equipment, according to Rhode, were the distributions made to the New Orleans Recovery School District to get junior high and high school players back on the field after Hurricane Katrina, and in Galveston, TX where more than 1,500 children in seven Little Leagues were playing last spring just months after their fields and equipment were destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. On a global scale, PIFB has distributed equipment and uniforms to children in over 65 countries around the world.
Smalley, a Major League Baseball shortstop for 13 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, the New York Yankees, the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox, was elected unanimously as the President by PIFB’s Board of Directors in December.
“I can remember like it was yesterday, the pure joy I felt putting on my first baseball uniform at the age of 9,” said Smalley. “To have a chance to bring that kind of feeling to kids around the United States and around the world is an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”
Smalley, a former American League All Star shortstop and World Series Champion with the Minnesota Twins said he was introduced to Pitch In For Baseball by “my favorite shortstop”, Roy Smalley, Jr., his father, a major leaguer from 1948-1958. “I am thrilled to help kids play ball and stay healthy,” Smalley continued. “I’ve talked to a lot of my teammates and guys I played against and they are going to be right there with us, guys like my USC teammate Fred Lynn, Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and my dad.”
About Pitch In For Baseball
Founded in 2005, Pitch In For Baseball is the central organization for the collection and redistribution of new and gently used youth baseball and softball equipment to underserved communities around the world. PIFB had distributed equipment and uniforms to more than 65 countries worldwide and more than 250 communities around the United States impacting over 70,000 children in need. Based outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PIFB is a 501 c 3 not for profit organization. For more information, visit www.pitchinforbaseball.org
or contact Executive Director, David Rhode at 267-263-4069 or firstname.lastname@example.org
-The second run of the women's giant slalom in Whistler has been delayed again, until 2:45 Central time, and I'm guessing it might not come off because of fog.
-US beats the Swiss in men's hockey, 2-0, after Prior Lake's Zach Parise scores an empty-netter to go with his eke-it-in first goal. The US did not play well, but the Swiss played close games all tournament, so maybe we shouldn't be so surprised.