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School kids receive gloves from Rangers

Mazara recalls his first mitt at age 5; Calhoun reflects on receiving one at similar event
Special to MLB.com

DALLAS -- Rangers players Nomar Mazara, Willie Calhoun, Jose Leclerc and Ricardo Rodriguez and TV broadcaster Dave Raymond joined the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and State Farm on Thursday to distribute over 300 baseball gloves to students at C.F. Carr Elementary School in Dallas.

"The glove gives the kids a sense of ownership and excitement that they are bringing something with them," said Karin Morris, vice president of community outreach and executive director of the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. "It just gives them a sense of pride if they have something that is their own, that they get to use and we hope that, in theory, will give them a chance to play at home."

DALLAS -- Rangers players Nomar Mazara, Willie Calhoun, Jose Leclerc and Ricardo Rodriguez and TV broadcaster Dave Raymond joined the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and State Farm on Thursday to distribute over 300 baseball gloves to students at C.F. Carr Elementary School in Dallas.

"The glove gives the kids a sense of ownership and excitement that they are bringing something with them," said Karin Morris, vice president of community outreach and executive director of the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. "It just gives them a sense of pride if they have something that is their own, that they get to use and we hope that, in theory, will give them a chance to play at home."

Mazara received his first baseball glove when he was 5 years old from his mother, and has reflected on that moment throughout his professional career.

"I'm getting to see their faces when they get their first gloves and it's going to be an amazing feeling for them. It's always good to [focus on] kids," Mazara said. "When I got my first glove I was sleeping with it, so it is going to be an amazing feeling for them and they're going to be happy."

For Calhoun, distributing the baseball gloves brought back familiar memories, as he received his first glove from a similar event when he was in elementary school.

"I was one of these kids once before when I was younger … college guys came back and gave gloves away to the elementary school that I attended," Calhoun said. "Being able to use this platform as a professional and being able to do this for the kids is really cool, and seeing the expression on their faces when they receive [the glove] is cool."

Less than a mile away from the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, The C.F. Carr Elementary School students are a small representation of Dallas area youth that will have access to the new state-of-the-art facility, slated for its grand opening later this month.

"Since we are about to open the Rangers Academy, it makes sense to get a glove in the hands of the kids so they'll have something they can bring with them, and get them excited about the fact that the Rangers Academy is accessible to them," Morris said.

In the midst of the holiday season, the glove distribution is one of many community initiatives for the Rangers this month.

"We know that there is so much need and there are so many ways that we can help, and any time that we can bring a little sunshine to families, we do," Morris said. "Even if it is something as small as a glove, hopefully that brings a little bit of sunshine to them as they head into the holidays."

Madison Pelletier is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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