I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.  With family, former teammates, and friends coming in from out of town, it gets really busy this time of year.  And may I be the first to say Happy Holidays to everyone in the Rhode Island baseball community.

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I wanted to acknowledge a great email I received about an event this past Thanksgiving.  The two Rhode Island baseball players, John DeRouin and Mason Feole, organized a charity tournament at Hops Athletic Performance in Coventry, RI.  The tournament featured high school and collegiate level baseball players using the HitTrax batting system at Hops.  HitTrax calculates a ton of statistics while you bat against live pitching, including launch angle, exit speed velocity, and distance traveled.  The results of each swing are computed, calculated, and stored on a leaderboard for everyone to see.  You can see who hit the ball the farthest or had the fastest exit speed velocity in your group or team.  Coaches use HitTrax to help adjust swings and make improvements.  And HitTrax can be used for bragging rights, tournament simulated games, and charity events such as the one recently held on Thanksgiving.

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These Rhode Island baseball players chose the Tomorrow Fund as their charity of choice.  Their mission statement reads “The Tomorrow Fund, an independent non-profit charitable organization, provides ​​​​​​​daily Financial and Emotional Support to children with cancer and their families treated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI.  The Tomorrow Fund strives to ensure access to the highest level of comprehensive care while raising public awareness of childhood cancer.” John’s father, David DeRouin, is the Planned Giving Director of The Tomorrow Fund.  I spoke to David briefly tonight about the impact this tournaments funds will have on his program.  “We provide a stipend per day for each family whose child is a patient at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.  The stipend pays for expenses of everyday life including parking at the hospital, meals, and other financial commitments. These wonderful kids, my son included, helped raise enough funds to help a family for almost 30 days see some relief financially.  What a great gift indeed to help out another Rhode Island family, especially on Thanksgiving.”

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According to Hops Athletic Performance owner Matt Hopkins, “about 4 teams showed up and I allowed John and Mason to be in charge of the event.”  Hopkins mentioned that he will be running more HitTrax tournaments for younger baseball and softball players this winter, so stayed tuned to their social media page – Hop’s Athletic Performance – for further details.

One final note, per David DeRouin, Tuesday is “Giving Tuesday.”  The Tomorrow Fund, like many other local and national charities, appreciate each and every donation you give.  For more information about the Tomorrow Fund, visit their website at www.tomorrowfund.org.

For more information on Hop’s Athletic Performance, click here – Hops AC