Daniel had been playing baseball all of his life.

Hailing from a low-income neighborhood in the Bronx, getting the right gear and equipment was often a challenge.

As one of the catchers on the Roosevelt Educational Campus baseball team, Daniel was in desperate need of a new bag for his gear, and the catchers equipment he was using was worn and in need of replacement. Head coach Aaron Jacobs said that when the school received its boxes of donated gear through Pitch In For Baseball & Softball, Daniel was thrilled to receive a new backpack and catchers equipment.

“Since the day I gave out the new gear, Daniel has been taking his new bag to every game and practice and played very well at catcher, tagging three players out at home in his last two games,” Jacobs shared during the season.

“He also seemed a lot more confident, because he didn’t feel the equipment was going to break as easily or be damaged if the ball hit him.”

Having broken or ill-fitting equipment to work with hurts the students’ performance and, in turn, confidence.

“A lot of players had old baseball gloves or gloves that were too small for them. This caused problems when catching balls at first base and especially in the outfield,” Jacobs said. “After the team got their new gloves, they caught a lot more throws. The outfielders stopped missing routine fly balls and the first basemen were catching more balls thrown to them.

“I believe these donations made our players more confident on the field.”

Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus encompasses several small high schools – Belmont Preparatory High School, Bronx High School for Law and Community Service, Fordham High School for the Arts, Fordham Leadership Academy, KAPPA International High School, and West Bronx Academy for the Future. The campus was formerly home to Theodore Roosevelt High School, a large public high school from 1918-2006 whose alumni include former six-time MLB All-Star Rocky Colavito.

Now playing as a collective campus, the baseball program has also improved from receiving new bats and baseballs. Batting practices had been limited before as the program had only a handful of usable baseballs to practice with.

Jacobs said that attendance at practice also improved.

Since the PIFBS donation, the team benefits from a more thorough batting practice, where each batter now gets at least a full bucket of balls to hit. More repetitions without interruption makes for a better training opportunity.

“We were able to have better practices and focus more on batting. Players didn’t have to spend money on bats or balls,” Jacobs said.

Players also received gray practice pants, which they were also able to use for road games, rather than having to purchase a new pair. The team plays its home games at a number of different fields and thus was greatly helped by the donation of a team equipment bag, which they used to carry bases to and from the various fields.

If you would like to help provide equipment for schools like Roosevelt Educational Campus, PIFBS always welcomes lightly-used baseball or softball equipment to help get kids on the field. Please reach out to us at info@pifbs.org to schedule a donation.