Always eager to give back, Carroll thrills kids with skills clinic

January 14th, 2024

GILBERT, Ariz. -- When the D-backs signed to an eight-year extension in March 2023, it provided a glimpse of hope for a new era of Arizona baseball.

Carroll's impact on the field was immediate, earning the 2023 Rookie of the Year Award and propelling the D-backs to embark on a Cinderella run to the World Series, marking their first appearance there since 2001.

Carroll has his sights on a meaningful mission -- to emerge as a leader within the Arizona baseball community. On a crisp Saturday morning at Page Park, the D-backs Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs, held a baseball clinic with children aged 6-12.

At the forefront was Carroll. He not only engaged in meaningful conversations but also imparted invaluable lessons in the fundamentals of baseball, such as batting stance, throwing mechanics and baserunning, a specialty of Carroll’s.

“It's just good to get out here,” Carroll said. “I've kind of told some of our community people, throw whatever you got at me. I just think it's so important to get out here and especially stuff with the kids, like the love of the game stuff I talked about earlier, like, this is what I'm all about.”

The D-backs Nike Jr. RBI program dedicates itself to rejuvenating and revitalizing baseball and softball engagement among underserved youth.

This complimentary program places a strong emphasis on instilling the fundamental skills of baseball and softball, following the instructions of the D-backs Baseball Academy. As the team's official year-round baseball and softball instruction division, the Academy has successfully guided numerous young athletes to learn to play the D-backs way.

This program's participants benefit from expert instruction and receive a complete outfit, including a D-backs hat, a Nike shirt and a high-quality Wilson or Rawlings glove. This approach promises that every child involved is suited with the essential knowledge of the game.

Debbie Castaldo, D-backs senior vice president of corporate and community impact, notes how uncommon it is for a player of Carroll's stardom participating in community events. Yet, Carroll is in consistent communication with Castaldo's team, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to these community endeavors.

A key component of the D-backs RBI program is to give access to those members of underrepresented communities, with the aspiration of nurturing a lifelong passion for baseball. Carroll, who is of Taiwanese descent, fits the mold for a cause like this.

“There's no one more relatable and approachable than Corbin Carroll for these kids,” Castaldo said. “So to get to learn from him today, our goal is for them to fall in love with the game, and to go home and say, ‘Hey, where do I sign up for Little League or youth league?”

“I just hope he's here for another 15 years,” said Tim Emory, vice president of Resource Development at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley - Arizona. “I just can't explain how rare it is in the first place. And I was just saying, looking at some of the kids aren't that much shorter than him either. So he's all heart and he's what the Diamondbacks are all about, what our kids are all about and our family and really just need the chance to succeed in life.”

At the start of last year, the D-backs weren't initially positioned as World Series contenders. The surge in the D-backs' popularity has sparked excitement among the youth in Arizona. Carroll, rooted in the desert for a minimum of eight years, has heard the growing voices of fans, echoing from April to Game 5 of the World Series. The 23-year-old outfielder is committed to reciprocating the support of the fans, whether it involves hitting home runs at Chase Field or assisting the community in any way possible.

“Just that support that we felt it's important to give that back,” Carroll said. “Now that hopefully, we've done something and are doing things that kids in the Valley want to do one day, just be that role model and be available to them."