MLB, MLBPA announce new initiatives to support growth of youth baseball and softball with an added focus on underserved areas
Players and officials took a moment from their Major League Baseball schedules Thursday to focus on reinvigorating youth baseball in local communities across America.
The MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation named Hall-of-Fame electee Ken Griffey Jr. as its Youth Ambassador and announced financial contributions to projects supported by Mets star Curtis Granderson and former All-Stars John Franco and Marquis Grissom.
The foundation, launched in July 2015 with a $30 million commitment to improve the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada, also announced a partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance for the training of coaches and administrators from the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program.
The series of announcements were made by Players Association executive director Tony Clark and MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., along with McCutchen, Granderson, Franco and Grissom.
The foundation -- whose mission is to enhance the quality of baseball and softball education, address overall youth participation in baseball and softball and help youth, including those from underserved communities, strengthen connections to the game -- is also donating nearly $2 million to youth-focused initiatives supported by active and former players, including:
•Chicago Baseball Academy, a program supported by Granderson,
•Borough Cup, a New York City program operated by NYC All-Star Sports Group;
•Marquis Grissom Baseball Association, Inc., an Atlanta-based non-profit, and
•Brooklyn Bonnies Youth Club, a year-round, sandlot youth program that uses baseball as a vehicle to guide kids to success in high school and college.
Positive Coaching Alliance, a national non-profit developing "Better Athletes, Better People" through youth and high school sports has already started delivering its Double-Goal Coach® workshops to RBI coaches. The program explains why and how to pursue winning and using sports to teach life lessons to youth.
PCA also is providing its workshop, titled "Leading Your Organization: Developing a Positive Coaching Culture," to RBI local administrators. The partnership between PCA and MLB/MLBPA will set out to train and certify every RBI coach as a Double-Goal Coach over the next three years.
(Read the full story on MLBPlayers.com)