Players Association to celebrate youth baseball tradition in West Baltimore
The Major League Baseball Players Association will lead a group of active and former players to West Baltimore on Saturday to celebrate a predominantly African-American youth baseball league that has served the troubled neighborhood for more than 50 years.
"For generations, there have been those who have touched the lives of our young people through baseball," MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said. "So as part of the players' and the Players Trust's continuing efforts to recognize these essential people and programs, we wanted to shine the spotlight on the men and women who have helped guide and support kids year after year at the James Mosher Baseball League here in Baltimore."
Clark, the first former player to lead the Players Association, will be joined by, among others, Orioles outfielders Adam Jones and Delmon Young, Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Frank Robinson, former Orioles All-Stars Eric Davis and Jeffrey Hammonds, and Orioles first-base coach Wayne Kirby, a former Major League outfielder with three different clubs. Local dignitaries and community leaders will also be in attendance.
Together, they will host a day of baseball, food and entertainment for more than 300 youth players and families from the James Mosher Baseball League, which was founded in 1960 and is among the country's oldest continuously operating African-American youth leagues.
The players and former players also plan to honor the coaches and other league volunteers who give their time and energy and serve as strong role models in the community.
"The troubles this neighborhood experienced earlier this spring saddened all of us and certainly didn't go unnoticed by baseball players," Clark said. "When games were moved out of town, there was a groundswell among players to come back and engage with this community, which has a rich tradition of baseball.
"A day of baseball and goodwill won't resolve the myriad issues that affect inner-city neighborhoods, but it represents a start. Hopefully, the message we're sending is that we did notice and we do care and we want to be part of a solution."
The current and former players will also serve as honorary coaches during games that will be played that day, in addition to distributing autographed cards and participating in a question-and-answer session with the youth league players.
The players' collective charity, the Players Trust, will provide new baseball equipment for the James Mosher Baseball League.