Little League was Pitch In For Baseball & Softball’s first ever corporate partner, and remains one of PIFBS’ most supportive partnerships today.
PIFBS has provided equipment to thousands of affiliated youth leagues worldwide, and in turn Little League has assisted PIFBS with grant funding, relationship-building, and spreading awareness of our mission to eliminate equipment barriers and get more kids on the field.
PIFBS + Little League
PIFBS and Little League first joined forces back in 2005 on a disaster relief project along the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina had hit just before PIFBS was founded, and many leagues lost all their gear and would not be able to play their upcoming seasons. Together, we helped to rebuild several Little Leagues along the coast that year as our first-ever project.
The partnership has grown from those initial relief projects to now leveraging hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Little Leagues worldwide. Little League has worked with PIFBS on several additional disaster relief projects, including those following Hurricane Sandy, earthquake/tsunami in Japan, and a series of hurricanes in Puerto Rico.
The COVID-19 pandemic created a different set of problems, and Little League wanted to help families recover by ensuring that kids had what they need to play ball. PIFBS teamed up with Little League and The Dicks Sporting Goods Foundation on the Sports Matter Equipment Grant Program, a large scale equipment grant to help leagues all over the country return to play safely. In early 2021, we shipped out 3,560 kits to 366 Little Leagues across the country. The leagues distributed those kits to kids most in need of gear to help provide support to families.
Each year, PIFBS fulfills equipment grant requests from Little Leagues around the globe.
Abington Little League
Ben was a second year player after he watched his brother play for the past couple of years. He’s very quiet and shy, but Ben was very happy to receive a new helmet that he was able to use during this past season. During this season, Ben got really into his games. He had a few hits and even attempted kid pitch during a game for the first time. His biggest accomplishment was getting two hits in his last game of the season.
Hamshire-Fannet Little League
Twice in the past three years, Southeast Texas experienced major flooding events from storms Harvey and Imelda. The youth baseball facility flooded twice, the baseball equipment room flooded, and a tornado knocked down two field light poles. The PIFBS donation allowed the league to distribute shoes, pants and gloves to players in need. The equipment bags, baseballs and catcher’s gear were used for practices and games. HFLL had 15 scholarship players during the 2020 Spring season, including another 75+ players who experienced flooding of their homes during Tropical Storm Imelda. The PIFBS donation allowed players to rejoin their friends on the baseball field for pick-up games and to build community pride and camaraderie.
Avondale Little League
During Alexis’ second season at Avondale Little League, her coach realized that Alexis’ glove was considerably too small for her. Because of the donation the league received, they were able to give her a new one to use.
After a couple of practices and successful games she was amazed at the difference the glove made. Her spirits lifted and she spent more time encouraging her teammates. Alexis finished the season on a high note and even made the All-Star Team for her division. During the post-season, she made some big catches that helped her team advance in their tournament.
Little Lake Little League
Aaron had always played catcher since he was able to choose what position he wanted to play, but often his legs and knees would hurt after the game. When the league received their donation package, Aaron was very excited to see that they had been given knee savers and a brand new catchers mitt. Since he started using the knee savers, his confidence grew and he never complained about his knees or legs hurting after that.
Bolden Little League
Las Vegas, NV
In 2018, Mario’s Westside Market Bulldogs team at Bolden Little League would have had little to no equipment if it weren’t for the donation from PIFBS. The team as a whole all grew more confident, both on and off the field. They went from having won zero games the previous year to winning the championship! Nine of the kids from this team also were newly on the A/B Honor Roll at school during the baseball season, and one even got straight A’s.
Corry Little League
When Johnie arrived at sign-ups, she insisted on playing baseball, and she was the only girl on the team. Her mother purchased her a new glove, but Johnie seemed to struggle using it. They discovered that she was actually left-handed and was wearing a right-handed glove. Johnie was devastated that she might not be able to play, as her parents wouldn’t be able to get her another glove. The league was overjoyed to find that with the donated equipment they received, they could give Johnie with a left-handed glove plus a batting helmet, pants, and pair of cleats to use!
Ekiti Kete Little League
Before receiving the equipment grant from PIFBS in 2018, Ekiti Kete Little League softball would always use boys from the baseball team to play catcher, because they didn’t have any catchers gear to use. Now with the proper equipment, Victoria and Titilayo became the first girls to play catcher for the softball team. The other fielders had also been using baseball gloves, which were too small, but the new softball gloves the team received helped the girls play with confidence.
Ojai Valley Little League
With the aftermath of the Thomas Fire, and so many losing their homes, that meant lost baseball gear too. With this donation, Ojai Valley Little League was able to supply all fire victims with new gear to call their own. The league offered the remainder of the gear to all of its scholarship recipients and lower income families. Xander was a first-year player after his family lost their home. He arrived at his first practice with only a hand-me-down T-Ball bat. Xander was overwhelmed by the generosity when he got to pick out a glove, cleats, catchers gear and a helmet from the donated gear. Xander never missed a practice, never was late for a game, and never showed up unprepared.
Tawas Area Little League
Tawas City, MI
With the league starting in 2018, Tawas Area Little League struggled at first with basic equipment needs such as helmets, bats, catchers gear and balls. After receiving an equipment grant, they were able to replace helmets that were unsafe and missing padding, upgrade catchers gear that was falling apart, and provide the proper baseballs and softballs for each team to play under Little League rules.