Kolton (11) struggled adjusting to a new age group at the beginning of Granville Little League Baseball season.
He worked hard at practice throughout the year, and gradually became more comfortable on the field with his newly donated equipment, including a Louisville Slugger Vapor bat, Under Armour pants, and an EvoShield arm sleeve. Kolton gradually improved his skills, gaining confidence as well as adjusting to the new group of kids in the dugout.
At the end of the season, Kolton’s team had advanced to the championship game. The contest was tied, and had moved into extra innings.
With two outs and nobody on base, Kolton stepped to the plate. He smashed a hard line drive down to the right field corner, and scampered around the bases for what proved to be the championship-winning, walk-off inside the park home run. Kolton was mobbed by his teammates at home plate, and hoisted into the air by his coach in celebration.
A moment of elation. A demonstration of perseverance. The lasting memories that the opportunity to play sports can provide.
Located in Granville, New York, the donations that Granville Little League baseball and softball received from PIFBS allowed them to provide quality equipment to many kids in need, without placing the financial burden on the program or the children’s families. The league hosts 13 teams, with approximately 170 children. The league estimates that about 40% of children hoping to participate do not own a glove.
Much of their equipment was still in use from the early 1990’s, which presented safety risks as well as preventing kids from performing to their best abilities. The new and lightly-used equipment donated allows kids to have fun without worrying about equipment breaking, while ensuring the league does not have to raise registration costs, which may limit participation.
Marcus is the type of kid that Granville Little League President Aaron Torres says the program benefits the most.
Marcus is autistic, and Torres says, “His ability to participate in the program helps him be apart of the team and experience things he wouldn’t be able to without baseball.” Granville Little League uses the equipment donation from PIFBS to make sure that kids like Marcus are able to participate and feel that sense of accomplishment.
Kiana had been participating in the league’s softball program for several years, but Torres noticed she had not signed up to play last year. The league reached out to see if she was interested in returning, and found out that Kiana had outgrown her previously-used equipment and did not have a way to get the softball pants and glove she would need for a new season.
Because of the PIFBS donation, the league was able to provide her with new or slightly-used equipment. As a result, Kiana was able to sign up and play, demonstrating her abilities as a confident young athlete throughout the season.
Now more than ever, teams in underserved communities will need our help when baseball and softball return. If you would like to donate mint-condition baseball or softball equipment, please reach out to PIFBS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monetary donations can also be made by visiting https://pifbs.org/lp/donate-money/.