In just about every level of baseball, the word “sacrifice” is used to describe a play or a commitment a player exercises so another teammate(s)’s situation improves in the game. There is the sacrifice bunt, where a player gives up his/her at bat to advance a runner on the base paths by laying down a bunt instead of swinging for the fences. There is the sacrifice fly, where a player drives the ball in the air to the outfield far enough for a runner (after the baseball is caught) to tag and advance to another base. In a close game, with a runner on second base and less than 2 outs, a batter may purposely “sacrifice” his/her at bat by grounding the ball to the right side of the infield (aka hitting behind the runner) in an attempt to advance a runner to third base. And last, but certainly not least, we have the runner at first who takes off way too early and gets caught in a rundown between first and second, so the runner at third can score, and then is tagged out – thus sacrificing his/her place on the base paths so another teammate can score.
For the next week or so until December 3rd, I am floating the idea of coordinating The Sacrifice Present here in Rhode Island. The Sacrifice Present is connecting those of us in the Rhode Island Baseball Community that have baseball equipment (in good condition) and would like to donate it to someone or some organization with those of us in the Rhode Island Baseball Community who could use baseball equipment (in good condition) and would accept a donation for themselves or their local baseball league. I know that I have at least 100 baseballs in my baseball batting practice bucket(s) and would be willing to donate a good portion of them. In addition, I have a few gloves that I can donate. This donation and present giving would take place in the month of December leading up to the holidays and New Year. Here are a few ideas I have started to jot down and if you have any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them:
- I want to keep the baseball equipment list specific to what is most needed to play baseball
- A bag of baseballs, maybe 10 to a bag – all functional, doesn’t have to be brand new
- Baseball bats – USA certified for games, older aluminum or composite bats for practice only, wood bat
- Gloves – catchers, fielders
- Gear – Batting tee, catcher’s equipment, helmet
- I’d like to stay away from clothes like baseball pants, baseball shirts, hats, cleats, unless they are 100% brand new, never been used.
- The equipment has to be in functional condition. I don’t want to have donations with baseballs that are water logged, or the seams ripped off, or misshaped. I don’t want bats that are bent or warped or wooden bats that have cracks in them. I don’t want gloves with rips or laces torn. I want the equipment donation to feel like you are giving it to a family member or your buddy’s kid or in other words, I want it to be safe to give to another person or family.
- I would be willing to meet up with individuals who have baseball equipment to donate at your local baseball field. I have been in and around baseball leagues for decades and can let you know, honestly, what is good, what can be donated, and what cannot. Again, the goal here is the provide those in need with a functional piece of baseball equipment.
- If there are Rhode Island based youth baseball leagues, indoor sports facilities, travel teams, and/or organized baseball leagues of any age that would like to coordinate a donation location/event, I would be happy to promote it on my pages and share it on my social media pages.
- If you do organize an event, and do not have a place to store your equipment before it is donated, I can assist with storage solutions.
- League officials and administrators, I would like to work on a solution for discreeting collecting a list of families who could use such a donation this holiday season. If you have any ideas, I would be interested.
- If you would like to volunteer and be a part of The Sacrifice Project as a league or area representative, please let me know.
- As far as distributing the donated items, once we have a list or perhaps a donation event set up, I can deliver the donated baseball equipment to your location for families to come in and “shop.”
My goal with The Sacrifice Present, like in the baseball world, is to make a teammate in the Rhode Island Baseball Community have a better situation. I have had a number of baseball parents ask me over the years where they can drop off a bucket of baseballs or a couple of bats or a fielders glove because their child has “aged” out of Little League or has developed an interest in something else other than sports. And there are donation situations around the state like the Salvation Army or Toys for Tots that accept donations like sports equipment, so this is in no way a brand new concept or idea. As I stated earlier, this is just an idea I am floating out to the Rhode Island Baseball Community, which by the way I feel is always looking to help make its fellow baseball teammates better on and off the field!!!
Let me know your thoughts, your interests, your concerns, and I will circle back with you in about a week or so. You can reach me at email@example.com. Or text me at 401.533.0913. Or message me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Or fill out this contact form and let me know what you think. Thanks to everyone for reading my idea of a better 2023 for a baseball family here in Rhode Island – The Sacrifice Present.