B-4 BASEBALL - BUILDING BOYS BEYOND BASEBALL (ARKANSAS AND COLORADO ONLY)
PROGRAM INTENT - To provide socio-emotional support, mentoring, and character/leadership development using the game of baseball to young men and boys of color ages 5-18.
With the numbers of African American baseball players that play at the youth, high school, college, and professional level being at an all-time low a need for opportunities to learn the game of baseball at an early age is a must. According to USA Sports, there were only 68 African Americans out of the total of 882 players in Major League Baseball on opening-day rosters in 2019. Baseball is a great sport for facilitating relationship building between a father and son or mentor and mentee. As documented in research, young men and boys of color are less likely to have a father figure or mentor to take time out to play catch or introduce them to the game. Additionally, these young men are also less likely to have the financial resources to sustain engagement in the sport We want to be one of the community resources for the young men to engage in baseball and leadership development in the communities we serve.
Opportunities for young men and boys of color men in urban cities is at an all-time low as well due to the fact of travel ball teams being the option for young baseball players to showcase what they can do. Underserved communities don’t have this outlet, being that to play on these teams the cost often times is in the thousands of dollar range. Local Little Leagues aren’t involved in underserved communities as they once were. This doesn’t leave many options for our kids in those communities. We want to help take the excuse of baseball being expensive away and help create some of these same options for underserved youth without cost being a barrier as well as use the lessons of baseball to teach life-skills and facilitate the development of mentoring opportunities.