Diamonds: Robinson league offers community a chance to score
On the surface, the Jackie Robinson Baseball League seems to be nothing more than a chance for some children to get together and to bat around a few baseballs.
And it is that, and so much more.
The league’s goal is to bring baseball back to the cities where it used to be the mainstay of summers for children. The volunteers who give their time to the cause hope they will inspire the children under their care to develop a love for the game, and give them an activity they can look forward to each week.
But more than that, the Jackie Robinson League offers children the chance to succeed at something, to learn that with a little bit of effort, and by trusting in the instruction of others, they, too, can have a homerun to score and a dream to chase.
Too often we forget that sometimes the best way to support our children is to show them the possibilities for their lives. And for some children from the inner city, those dreams might be limited to what they see every day.
By shifting their focus, we can sometimes change their lives.
There are many, many stories of young people who found a home in an activity and used it as a motivator to pursue other goals. They turned the discipline they learned from sports into careers.
And if we catch them early enough, some of these children just might get the start they need to become people their communities will be proud of someday, even if they cannot pitch a no-hitter.
Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League baseball, is the inspiration behind the local league. He broke barriers with his professionalism and his skill and changed the future for generations to come.
Who knows, maybe among these little baseball players is next Jackie Robinson.
It is worth the effort to find out.
Published in Editorials on June 13, 2005 10:16 AM