How It Started…
In 2005, a gentleman by the name of Bill Piszek placed an ad in a Philadelphia area newspaper asking for donations of gently used baseball gloves for children in Poland, where at the time, it was nearly impossible to purchase gloves within the country.
Bill’s family has a long history of supporting youth baseball and is heavily involved with Little League – there is even a stadium named after his father in Kutno named the Edward J. Piszek Stadium, which hosts the Little League European Championships.
When David Rhode saw the ad, he reached out to Bill to learn more. David’s children had just stopped playing youth baseball and he often wondered as he looked at their old gear if there was a place to take it so that another child could benefit. From there, David and Bill began building Pitch In For Baseball.
Just The Beginning…
As such, Pitch In For Baseball was founded in 2005, just after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Bill’s relationship with Little League helped to forge the organization’s first ever projects – rebuilding dozens of teams along the Gulf Coast.
Our first “warehouse” was the indoor tennis court on the grounds of the Piszek family’s home and we pieced together enough equipment to help a few thousand children.
Since those humble beginnings, Pitch In For Baseball has come a long way – expanding the brand to highlight our commitment to softball, more than quadrupling annual revenue, doubling our warehouse space, increasing the annual number of kids served by 300%, and officially transitioning our name to include softball to better reflect our commitment to young girls. Pitch In For Baseball & Softball became our official name in 2018.
Today, Pitch In For Baseball & Softball is the only organization of our kind. While several organizations provide equipment, Pitch In For Baseball & Softball is the only entity to have a global impact of this scale and that has the ability to recycle gently used gear.
PIFBS serves as the intermediary, the connector between manufacturers and the community to help ensure that equipment gets into the hands of the kids around the globe who need it most. Pitch In For Baseball & Softball is a trusted leader in the industry working with Major League Baseball (MLB), the MLB/Players Association’s Youth Development Foundation, USA Baseball, USA Softball, Little League, a dozen MLB clubs, and hundreds of community-based programs to ensure we are reaching kids in the most under-resourced communities. Disaster relief programming remains core to our mission.
We operate two locations – our headquarters in Pennsylvania is a 7,200 square foot warehouse/office where we employ seven full time/part time employees and help an annual average of 100,000+ children play baseball and softball. The Los Angeles location is donated by partners and is used as overflow space so that we can accept larger donations, as well as a drop off location for donors in southern California.
To date, we have helped nearly one million children play ball in 110 countries worldwide and in every state in the U.S., including assistance to 30 communities impacted by natural disasters.