“You can do it, man. I know you can. It looks kind of hard, but you can do it.” These are the words uttered by our Roberto Clemente Award nominee, Dillon Tate, to a timid child nervous to try. With classmates all around him and with Dillon’s encouragement, this young man picked up a baseball and launched it with all his might.
Dillon exemplifies the spirit of Roberto Clemente, and with his giving nature, kindhearted attitude and passion for the community, matched with his stellar performance on the field, he embodies what it means to be an Oriole.
While growing up in California, Dillon frequently played at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, taking advantage of free resources to help sharpen his skills. It was here that he learned the significance that professional sports teams can have on the development of youth, on and off the diamond. He carried that knowledge with him throughout his career, and has recognized the importance of giving back.
This year, Dillon launched his foundation, Baseball Academia, where he aims to teach children and young athletes lessons on personal development and how to improve skills on and off the field.
Through his foundation, he has hosted more than 100 athletes at the ballpark during the 2022 season, with additional visits scheduled for the remainder of the year. His foundation provides game tickets, meals and a tour of the ballpark. He then hosts a private meet-and-greet with each group, answering questions about his experience as a player and holding candid conversations on goal setting and how to persevere to achieve your dreams. He rallies other players in the clubhouse to speak to the group, helping to provide different perspectives to the youth who attend. He has big plans for his foundation, eventually growing it to help provide access and opportunities to youth athletes who may not otherwise have them. Dillon is making a commitment to youth in Maryland, no matter where his baseball career takes him.
Dillon leads in appearances on the mound and out in the community. He enjoys participating in club-sponsored activities that support youth baseball and softball. He was a fixture at Play Ball Day, where he taught more than 500 children basic pitching fundamentals and walked them through a fun and interactive pitching drill. He encouraged the children to try their best, work hard and have fun.
Dillon joined the Orioles for the annual Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Clinic, where he ran a station for youth baseball and softball players who are working hard to continue in their sports careers. In the same day, he held a private question-and-answer session for a local baseball team. He is more than happy to spend his limited free time empowering the local community.
Recently, Dillon made a personal contribution to Orioles outfielder Austin Hays’ individual fundraising project for mental health awareness and advocacy, supporting his teammate’s endeavor, and pushing the total raised to more than $12,000.
What makes Dillon a true champion is that his community spirit comes from a place of genuineness and truth. He is not a person who solely gives back for a photo opportunity, but instead shares word of his participation in private, often denying video or photo requests. He is a genuinely good person with a good heart.
While Dillon is new to giving back to his community as a professional athlete, he is no stranger to working hard and taking care of others. We look forward to continuing to help grow his foundation’s efforts alongside him and encouraging him to continue to give back to the community.