Kids beginning their baseball card collection
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Time again for a review of progress made here at The Pitch within the past 90 days and hoping everyone enjoyed a summer of warm memories and free of health concerns.
Despite the worries of the world, The Pitch and the adjacent Sosua municipal baseball field serve many aspiring underprivileged young players on the Dominican North Coast looking for a safe place of refuge away from the pressing concerns of their daily life. Here they can practice the game they love and keep their hopes alive for future success of one day becoming a professional baseball player.
In addition to our core mission of offering free batting cage swings to kids 5 - 10 years old we continue to collect inventories of used baseball equipment from US Little League communities (gloves, shoes, helmets, jerseys, pants, baseballs, etc.) and distribute them directly into the hands of players of all ages here. This helps those, many of whom have little or nothing, to adequately practice yet desperately need/deserve them to effectively hone their skills.
There are many other ongoing needs here. Due to heavy usage, there is #1 the recurring need of purchasing the special Juggs yellow dimpled baseballs (and softballs for the young women's players) we regularly cycle through. Also, with the salty and corrosive humid air here, there are consistent ongoing maintenance concerns to uphold the basic infrastructure which must be addressed to keep the facility up and operating.
1.) Repetitively repairing and bolstering the aging metal framework which supports the cage netting
2.) A basic roof system to protect both the pitching machines and home plate areas from the elements which pool up with water when it rains and prevent the kids from using the Pitch
3.) Weatherproof storage solutions for safely storing the used baseball equipment, water bottles for the kids, tools for pitching machine maintenance, rakes for groundskeeping, small locker for daily Pitch operator Bodega for his personal effects, and other items
4.) Fulfilling the vision to expand the area behind the pitching machines we need to regrade the existing rough surface and bring in soil to convert it into a pitching mound for pitching instruction
I am also excited to report on the continuing warm reception and positive impact the Cards4Sosua baseball card distribution program (link below) is having on the young players and coaches in this country. Now expanding to other baseball communities and under the umbrella of The Pitch this unique project is quickly growing in popularity.
Words can't adequately describe the joy I feel to be present at the moment the kids step into the cage to take their free swings or when that big smile comes over their faces when equipment is given to them or they see baseball cards for the first time. Giving them the "tools" they need to practice and inspiring them by receiving actual US MLB baseball players (current and past) gives them hope and motivation for the future which is priceless.
As there are so many opportunities (other than the needs cited above) to help these deserving kids please consider personally sponsoring an individual young player. I will connect and introduce them to you via video so you can develop a personal relationship and then keep you updated on their progress as they develop as both ballplayers and young men.
Please don't hesitate to contact me via email with any ideas to sustain and grow this valuable community resource
Thank you for "helping me help them" and for your contributions to "The Pitch"!
New affixed placard honoring Tony Fernandez
Corroding metal framework holding up the netting
Kids coming into the Pitch for Saturday practice
Need for protective roofing of facility after rain