The motto of Biking for Baseball is “Your mentor made a huge impact on your life. Now pay it forward, go make an impact in the life of a kid.” And through their efforts, Biking for Baseball, composed of five guys: Rex, Steve, Adam, Chase, and Tim, are traveling the country throughout the baseball season attending MLB games, as well as hosting children in community-sponsored baseball games.
Starting on Opening Day, Friday, April 13, in Safeco Field in Seattle and continuing through Fenway Park in Boston on Friday, September 21st, Biking for Baseball will have visited 30 different cities (approximately 11,000 miles covered) as well as hosted dozens of baseball games for children.
However, what particularly struck us about Biking for Baseball’s mission was their own unique approach to the game. In addition to attending games with children, they also host community-funded baseball events for children, allowing both adult mentors, as well as children, to become better role models and team players. Game activities are broken up into two main activities. For the first hour of play, children relearn the structures of baseball through participating in unique activities such as “It Takes Two,” “Hit the Bucket,” as well as “Hot Box.”
Later, each child’s recognition as a unique player is broadcast as the PA system announces each player’s team, as well as plays their walk-up music. But perhaps what is best about Biking for Baseball’s approach to baseball is what happens next. Defensively, children (also called “littles”) are matched up with adult mentors (also called “bigs”) to play the same position, allowing “littles” to learn key fundamentals of the game through a slowed-down approach which encourages children to ask questions and become better students of the game.
But Biking for Baseball’s work also points out some very real issues children are facing in the nation and how participation in sports greatly benefits youth development. According to Biking for Baseball, children involved in a mentoring, sports-related, or other extracurricular activity for approximately 18 months are 33% less likely not to hit someone and 52% less likely to skip school.
And Biking for Baseball serves as a role model of how we can show children, as well as ourselves, the importance of sports in their lives, saying, “We support using sports as a vehicle to provide teaching opportunities and positive influences in a child’s life however you can.”
Donations to help fund Biking for Baseball’s mission can be found on their website at http://www.bikingforbaseball.org as well as additional information about this wonderful organization.