Charity update (with photos from Iraq…)
As many of you already know, I’m raising money for charity this year by getting people to make small pledges for every ball I snag. The money is going to a charity called Pitch In For Baseball, which provides baseball equipment to needy kids all over the world. So far, I’ve gotten 104 pledges ranging from one penny per ball up to one dollar. In 22 games so far this season, I’ve snagged 178 balls (including batting practice) and raised over $3,600.
If you’re thinking about making a pledge, or if you just want to read more about this, click here.
Another way to help this charity is to buy a children’s book called A Glove of Their Own.
I have a copy, and let me tell you…it’s very touching and the whole thing is beautifully illustrated. If you have a young child (especially
one who loves baseball), you should pick up a copy, and when you do, Pitch In For Baseball will receive a $3 contribution. (You can see the
Pitch In For Baseball logo on the cover.) The publisher of this book is Franklin Mason Press, and if you go to this page on their web site, all you have to do is click the “Add To Cart” button
and then select the charity code “PIF-129″ from the pull-down menu. You’ll end up with a great book, and Pitch In For Baseball will receive three bucks in the process. This book has gotten a lot of positive press. The Yogi Berra Museum has even gotten involved to help promote it. Do a Google search for it and you’ll see how many other people and organizations are on board.
In other charity news…
Pitch In For Baseball recently orchestrated a huge equipment drive for the children in northwest Baghdad. The project was called “Operation Homerun” and it was a joint effort with the U.S. Military, the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sport, and MLB International.
I want to share an email about this (that was recently forwarded to me) from a member of the military. Here it is, and then keep scrolling down to see the photos that he attached…
From: Browne, Conor 1LT 2-1 ID S-9 OIC
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 8:56 AM
Cc: Auld, Todd LTC 2/1 ID S-9; Greco, Dennis MAJ 403rd CA BN A Company
Commander; Faulkner, Kone MAJ 2-1 STB PAO; Beckert, Christopher LTC 2/1 ID
Subject: Operation Homerun: Baseball in Baghdad
I hope all is well in the States. It was a great day for the “Dagger Brigade.” This morning Soldiers from D Troop 5/4 Cavalry and A Company 403 Civil Affairs Battalion delivered equipment donated from “Pitch in for Baseball.” Mr Fahkri, a deputy in the Ministry of Youth and Sport, had invited about 40 children to the equipment drop off. As part of the delivery the soldiers gave a quick demonstration of the new equipment that would be shared by the Northwest Baghdad youth centers. Mr. Fahkri said that they would be forming a league and we would be invited to the first exhibition game once they have had enough time to practice. It was a great opportunity for the soldiers. And while there was some tentative children, many of them were picking up the game quickly and showed a true interest in the sport. I’ve collected and attached a bunch of the pictures that were taken during the distribution. Our public affairs team plans on writing a story on the event. When they’re finished, we’ll make sure you get a copy of the article. It was a long process to get the equipment into the hands of some kids. But interest, by the Youth and Sport personnel and the children, in making the most of the equipment was very promising. Thank you so much to your organization and for your personal support for this endeavor.
LT Conor Browne
Assistant Civil Military Operations Officer 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry
Division Camp Liberty, Baghdad, Iraq
In other non-charity news…
I’m flying to L.A. tomorrow. I’ll be at Dodger Stadium on May 18th, and I’m planning to snag my 4,000th ball that day during batting practice in the left field pavilion. If you’re in the area, come on out and say hi. It might end up being a crazy day, so it’s hard to predict what’s gonna happen to me once the game starts, but as things stand now, I’m planning to be in the LF pavilion, pretty much in straight-away left field, perhaps shaded a bit toward the foul pole. My seat is in the 4th row, but I might move around if there are empty seats nearby. FYI, I’m planning to wear my Homer Simpson t-shirt during the game, not because I think it’s fashionable, but because the Dodgers will be playing the Mets and I want everyone in NYC to be able to look for me on TV. (Consider it a little game within the game.)
On a final note, my friend and fellow ballhawk Nick Yohanek (aka “The Happy Youngster”) has really gotten screwed by both the Marlins and the media, and now he’s getting bashed mercilessly as a result. Check out the Associate Press story about him (note Coghlan’s absurdly dishonest quote in the 4th paragraph) and then read Nick’s version of the story on his blog. Wow.