HARLEYSVILLE, PA – July 29, 2020 — Pitch In For Baseball & Softball (PIFBS) is pleased to announce an agreement to become an Official Service Partner of the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, providing baseball and softball equipment to help increase youth participation and expand access to baseball and softball.
The MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF) is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The Foundation delivers grants to organizations both in the United States and internationally that increase opportunities for youth, particularly underrepresented boys and girls, and/or those located in underserved communities.
“This is a pivotal partnership for Pitch In For Baseball & Softball. Working with a partner like the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation enables PIFBS to have a broader reach,” said Meredith Kim, CEO of PIFBS.
“Pitch In For Baseball & Softball can have an even larger impact by reaching groups we may not have been able to before. We are already seeing that needs are greater than ever in light of COVID-19, and working with the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation allows us to serve that need in a more comprehensive way.”
The MLB-MLBPA YDF was established as a joint initiative by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association in 2016. The public charity was created to increase participation in and expand access to youth baseball and softball. Since 2019, the Foundation has expanded its geographical reach and makes grants to organizations in the United States and internationally.
The Foundation’s grantmaking supports capital projects, programming (i.e. players and infrastructure equipment, uniforms, coaches training), education initiatives, and the Players Going Home program for underserved youth.
One of the Foundation’s annual major events is the Hank Aaron Invitational, formerly the Elite Development Invitational, held at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Florida and culminates in Atlanta, Georgia. Around 250 minority and underserved youth, ages 13-18, are provided a full scholarship to participate in a week-long program. The invitational is geared towards elite player development with high level on-field instruction and off-field mentoring by former MLB players, the Commissioner of Baseball, the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, collegiate coaches, and other esteemed guest speakers. Among the alumni of the Hank Aaron Invitational who have graduated high school since the event’s inception, 96% are playing at the collegiate or professional levels.
Groups may apply for an equipment grant through MLB-MLBPA YDF, and if approved, those equipment needs will be fulfilled through PIFBS.
“We are proud to partner with an incredible organization like Pitch In For Baseball & Softball with a mission to reduce point of entry barriers to the sports,” said Jean Batrus, Executive Director, MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation. “Both MLB and MLBPA remain steadfast in our commitment to providing opportunities for youth across the country to play our game, and this partnership will continue to propel that effort forward.”