Kids nowadays do things extremely different from how they used to do them when I was young. For instance, when I was young, I used to have to get up and change the channel for my parents because our old TV didn’t have a remote control. Luckily, we didn’t have cable so we only had 4 channels to flip through. Kids in my day also had to call our parents via 1-800-collect to come pick us up from school if we didn’t have 25 cents for the pay phone. If we were really smart (like I was), we would call our parents collect and instead of saying our name to the operator (so the parents would accept the call and the charges) we would say “come pick me up” really fast. That way, our parents knew to pick us up and we wouldn’t have to pay for a collect call. You’re welcome Mom and Dad. Anyway, another thing different was when I would play kickball at school, it was played with one goal in mind…to beat the other team. These days, kids are playing kickball for a whole other reason–to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
Kick-It was founded by a 10-year old cancer patient with a big dream- to cure cancer by playing kickball. Now a national fundraising program, Kick-it raises money for pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer research. Throughout the year, groups of kids hold kickball games and if they raise a certain amount of money they are invited to play kickball on Progressive Field! Recently, Kick-It and the Cleveland Indians teamed up to bring 36 teams to play throughout the day on the same outfield that their favorite Indians players play on.
The Cleveland Indians have supported Kick-It since its inception. Cleveland Indians Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Dolan is passionate about finding a cure for pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer research. The commitment from the Indians organization allowed Kick-it to grow from a single event to a national organization. Thanks to our partnership, corporations, school teams and Tribe fans across Northeast Ohio have raised more than $700,000. (thanks kick-it.org for that information).
For more information on Kick-It and how you can get a team together, visit www.kick-it.org! Special thanks to Ian Johnson for the photos
Part of my job here at the Cleveland Indians, nay, the majority of my job here is to coordinate different events that involve numerous volunteers. It is a very rewarding job because I know that at the end of the day, events that I have planned and coordinated, ended up helping someone or some non-profit organization. It’s also great because every one of my volunteers, whether they know it or not, don’t need to be paid! It’s free help! Anyone can work to get paid, but it takes a real man (and woman) to work for a hearty handshake and a warm smile…and free Indians tickets.
The Indians in partnership with Business Volunteers Unlimited continued the Indians Volunteer Challenge during the 2011 season. The Challenge is an opportunity for area families, citizens and baseball fans to give back to their communities and receive Tribe game tickets. To make life even more exciting (and to back up our reasoning for calling it a volunteer “challenge”), we thought we would reward the person with the most volunteer hours logged the opportunity to throw out a first pitch before an Indians home game.
We actually had two winners this year. Richard Schapel of Parma and Brian Dietrich of Avon each logged over 160 hours of community service and were named the Cleveland Indians Volunteers of the Year. They were honored during a pregame presentation last night and Richard Schapel threw out the ceremonial first pitch. I’m sure we’ll have the challenge next year, so keep an eye out on Indians.com for how to sign up!
Due to the overwhelming popularity of this blog since I started it a few months ago, I’ve had so many request to drop people’s names in it. A couple of weeks ago, when the Tribe was playing in Los Angeles, my cousin (who lives in LA and was going to the game) asked if I could include his name in it. I had to quickly explain to Marty that this blog is for business purposes only–to promote to the world how the Cleveland Indians are helping the community through volunteer efforts, fundraising, appearances and the like. It is not to be used to plug the DeLaat family name. So I’m sorry, Marty DeLaat, but I will not be allowed to mention your name in this blog per MLB’s rules.
I am suddenly reminded of a crazy cousin of mine who, growing up, used to take the RTA down to then Jacobs Field during Indians games and get a bunch of autographs from the players. Being the business savvy kid that he was, he would then go on and sell a lot of those autographs to help keep his cash flow going. It was a great idea, completely legal, and kept him out of trouble.
Cleveland Indians Charities does a similar version of what my cousin used to do; however, we take a slightly different approach with it. For one, all of the money made from sales goes straight to Cleveland Indians Charities. We also get the items from the Indians Clubhouse, so they are authentic items (most were actually worn/used by the players) and not replicas.
We call these items Clubhouse Collectibles and they are sold in our Progressive Field Team Shop. Not all of the items are autographed, but we sell anything from bats (broken or just used), signed player photos, old player jerseys, signed baseballs, helmets, etc.
So the next time you come to a game, or are in the Cleveland area and are looking for some cool team issued/team used memorabilia, swing into the Team Shop and check out the Clubhouse Collectibles. Or, if my cousin from California is back in town you can just buy something off of him. We’d prefer you go through us, though!
The beginning of June is finally here. After months of dealing with crazy Cleveland weather where it is 90 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next, we are officially free from cold weather for at least a month! Heck, I can’t even remember what a Nimbostratus cloud looks like! To the lay-person, Nimbostratus clouds are low-lying clouds that produce rain, ice and/or snow.
With June also comes the final days of school for many kids. Seniors in high school have their last summer at home to look forward to before opening up the next chapter of their life in college. Seniors in college have their last summer of freedom before they have to get a job and live in the real world–although, the way the job outlook is, they may have a couple of years of freedom before finding a job!
What else does June bring? Well Indians baseball, of course! Yes, I know the Tribe has been playing for two months now, but there are a ton of events coming up that are exciting to learn about! Here is what the Cleveland Indians and their Community Relations department has coming up in June:
June 3: Major League Baseball Player Alumni Association (MLBPAA) auction at the ballpark–auctioning off former and current MLB player memorabilia (Pete Rose autograph baseball, Nolan Ryan autograph photo, etc.)
June 5: Signature Sunday for first 100 High Achievers who check in during KeyBank Kids Fun Days
June 8: Fill the House for Charity benefiting Berea Children’s Home. Portions of ticket sales from the June 8 game will go directly to Berea Children’s Home!
June 17: Indians in the Community event: Members of the Indians front office and some players will help serve lunch at La Sagrad Church.
June 18: MLB Pitch, Hit and Run competition at Progressive Field. Local Pitch, Hit and Run winners square off to decide who will be the champion and move on to the Finals held at the 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona!
June 19: Cleveland Indians Charities “Play Catch” fundraiser. Fans can buy tickets to “Play Catch” on the field with their dad after the game. All proceeds go to Cleveland Indians Charities.
June 21: PLAY Clinic. 40 local youth are invited down to Progressive Field to participate in the clinic. The clinic is put on by the Cleveland Indians trainers.
June 22: Fill the House for Charity benefiting Special Olympics. Portions of ticket sales from the June 22 game go directly to Special Olympics!
They say that newspapers are a dying breed. I don’t know who “they” are, but they are probably the people who are no longer subscribing to newspapers. When I asked the morning newspaper what it’s thoughts were on this, it just sat there on my doorstep without a response. We’ll just mark that down as a “no comment.”
Yesterday, the Cleveland Indians and The Plain Dealer partnered together to put on the annual Tribe Reporter for a Day event here at Progressive Field. This event has been an annual thing since Chris Perez last had short hair. The purpose of Tribe Reporter for a Day is to give high school students the chance to be, well, to be a reporter for the Tribe for a day. We are very creative with our event names.
High School students were asked to submit essays to The Plain Dealer telling why they are interested in sports writing and how taking part in this event would further their future career plans. Out of about 200 essays, the top 25 were chosen and those kids were brought to Progressive Field on May 10, 2011. The day began with them sitting in on an actual press conference with Manny Acta and the local media. After the press conference, Plain Dealer sports writer, Paul Hoynes, spoke with the young reporters. He gave them some insight on his world as well as some tips on how to make it in the business. After a few questions/answers, they were taken to the stands to watch the Indians take some batting practice. During this time, they were looking through their media guides and getting some notes/questions together for their own press conference with some of the players.
Shortly after batting practice, the reporters were brought to the Press Interview Room under the ballpark where they had the opportunity to interview Chris Perez, Adam Everett and Vinnie Pestano. The players seemed to enjoy the questions, which I should add were pretty intense questions at times. The session ended with a group photo and will be followed by stories from each reporter of their experience during the event.
Special thanks to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chris Perez, Adam Everett, and Vinnie Pestano for making this another successful event.
I remember growing up and getting my first baseball glove. I was in kindergarten and had just signed up for T-Ball. I didn’t know anything about baseball, but my older brother (who is only a year older than me) was playing and I wanted to be on the same team as him. I also knew going in that, because my older brother was left-handed and I was right-handed there was no way that I would get his hand-me-down glove. For once, I could get something new that didn’t belong to my brother first! My mom took us to the store to get my brother some new sweatpants and cleats and a new glove. I was, of course, getting his old sweatpants and cleats that he grew out of.
I was so pumped to go and pick out my glove when I noticed something. My brother, although left-handed for everything…EVERYTHING…picked out a right hander’s glove. It was then that I was informed that he was right-handed only when it came to throwing. We got home from the store and my mom handed me his old glove and that was that. But you know what? That was an amazing glove and it was my glove. I made it my own and took care of it, and it was a part of me as I learned the world of baseball. Plus, I didn’t have a growth spurt for about 3 years after that, so the glove lasted me quite a while.
The Cleveland Indians are partnering with KeyBank on a season long glove drive. The KeyBank Glove Drive started on Opening Day and will run until August 28. Here is what you have to do to participate: Bring a new or gently used glove to the next Indians game with you, take it to our Guest Services booth, and we’ll give you a ticket to the August 28th game as well as a voucher that allows you entry to a post-game autograph session by select Indians players that day! Plus, you’ll be entered in a drawing where you could win the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the game that day!
You can also participate by bringing your glove to a local KeyBank and filling out an entry form. It’s that easy! All gloves will then be donated to Cleveland Baseball Federation and given to local youth to use while learning the game of baseball. So bring a new or gently used glove with you to the next Tribe game and instead of using it to catch foul balls in the stands, donate it to the KeyBank Glove Drive. Who knows? Your glove could get into the hands of the next Grady Sizmore…or the next Justin Sherman: Community Outreach blog writer and former T-Ball player! Either way, you’ll help connect with the next generation of baseball fans in our community!