Spring training is long gone, but its effects will be felt for years to come, and I’m not just talking about on the diamond.
The Chicago Cubs flew a group of junior all-star baseball players from Chicago to Arizona for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The teens got to play a game on the Cubs’ field, but that was just the opening course. After, they stretched with the Cubs, helped out at batting practice, and took in a game. Then, they woke up the next morning and did it all again.
The group was from Chicago’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (R.B.I.) program, which has helped connect inner-city kids with the sport since 1989. In the Chicago program, 81 percent of the 375 kids that it serves are considered low income.
Many of the kids who traveled to the desert had never even been on a place before.
The trip wasn’t a publicity stunt where players made a brief appearance. Guys like Kyle Schwarber showed up to coach.
One player, whose glove broke before the trip, got a loner from Schwarber, straight out of his locker. Expected to return the mitt after the game, Schwarber turned around and gave him a brand-new glove.
“It’s amazing,” Alvarado said, in awe of the mitt, “that he handed me a glove twice today.” (Yahoo Sports)
Spring Training. Where “Take me out to the ballgame” has a new meaning.