Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pitch In For Baseball

The Internet is a really cool thing.

Because of the Internet, I have this blog. Because of this blog, I've had a chance to write some book reviews for the New York Post, the latest of which is a book about the New York Marathon that's coming out soon. One of the subjects of that book is a great young guy named Harrie Bakst who, along with his brother, completed the 2007 Marathon mere months after cancer surgery and chemotherapy. Because of the Internet, as soon as I got done reading about Harrie, I was able to Google him, find him, and then send him an email. Because of the Internet, he emailed right back and we chatted a bit. Because of the Internet, he immediately introduced me to a friend and client of his named David Rhode.

Who's David Rhode? The Executive Director of Pitch In For Baseball, which is really freakin' cool:

We ship new and gently used equipment to children all over the world, as well as here in the U.S. Anyone is eligible, so long as your community has a genuine need for youth baseball and softball equipment and the kids want to have fun. We normally work with leagues and programs in the community that have the ability to distribute the equipment and have a demonstrated track record of working with kids.
It's a simple program, really. People donate their baseball stuff. Kids who want and need it get it. Kids then have better things to do than hang around outside of drugstores lookin' for trouble. Baseball flourishes. The scourge of soccer is beaten back. It's win-win-win.

An example of some of the good work PIFB does can be seen in the Gulf Cost region, where last year they donated equipment and uniforms to help 10 middle schools and 3 high schools restart their baseball and softball programs for the first time since Katrina, thereby clearing the way for another Louisiana Lighting to come to a ballpark near you in the next few years (note: PIFB is not responsible for the creation of any Ben McDonalds). They also work internationally, often in collaboration with MLB International, providing equipment to kids with a hunger for the game but no access to the tools it takes to play it.

I realize that there are no shortage of worthy charities out there, such as the Jimmy Fund and the Little Donny Foundation, but charity is not necessarily a zero sum game. If you're reading this blog, baseball matters to you. If baseball matters to you, you can either help directly or at the very least spread the word. They need gloves and mitts the most. Money helps too, obviously. Details on how to help can be found on PIFB's website at http://www.pitchinforbaseball.org/.

Thank you Harrie Bakst for letting me know about Pitch In for Baseball, and thank you Al Gore for creating the Internet to make it all possible.

3 comments:

Jason @ IIATMS said...

That's a cool story and a better program. Thanks, CC.

Osmodious said...

Programs like this and RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner-cities) and a couple of those other after-school programs are critical to the continued existence of baseball as our 'national pastime'. We need kids everywhere to keep playing the game, and to have fun doing it. The way things are going with organized ball, where winning is so critical even for 8 year olds and 14 year olds are having TJ surgery, someone has to keep the idea of the game being just a fun thing to do alive. In other words, yes we need to make sure that we get all the kids who want to try to make a career, but lets also continue to generate fans!

Michael M said...

That's an excellent story, Craig, thank you.
You are the most interesting lawyer I've ever known, haha! Truly.