That Chicago team is impressive. Reminds me of something from Hardball.
Kind of a cool fact, people say that the MLB isn't doing enough to get young kids interested in baseball. This team was actually created by an MLB-sponsored project to keep kids off the streets and playing baseball instead. Might be the most talented team EVER.
I'd love to see them face off against Mo'Ne, and I think there's a good chance of that happening now.
I lived in St Louis for a while and volunteer-coached a group of inner city kids in co-ed t-ball through a program put on by the Cardinals called Redbird Rookies. I think almost all MLB teams have similar programs in their city. The Cardinals and Rawlings donated all bats, balls, and gloves that the kids got to keep at the end of the year. They were 4 to 6 years old but the violence and things they'd been exposed to at that age was shocking. Most were from the area about a mile south of Busch Stadium. We practiced in a gym because the field behind the rec center was always either being used for a bigger kids game or homeless people were sleeping on the field.
Part of the program, and there are "leagues" of Redbird Rookies all over the state for up to 10 or 11 y/o, was they had to read X number of books from the library and they'd get rewards and entered into drawings. They met Cardinals players and coaches at a fundraiser. We took them to a Cardinals game at the end of the season, and despite living so close to the stadium--none of them or their immediate families had been to a game unless they worked there.
That was several years ago and I wonder every once in a while what they're up to these days. They'd be in late elementary school or early middle school by now and I hope they've continued playing ball and/or found other positive outlets. The lady running the program was awesome and I was impressed by the parent support, so I left knowing they were in good hands.
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