Celebrate, dear readers! You did something good. Actually, not just good… FANTASTIC!
Remember back in March when we did our St. Patrick’s Day campaign? By participating the way you did, you helped raise $750 that we donated to the Chicago Bulls College Prep School athletic department to be used specifically towards purchasing equipment for the school’s baseball team.
Athletic Director Steve Silva and baseball coach Roberto Rosado were very gracious for your efforts and wanted Mr. Krause and I to share with you just how appreciative they are. Coach Rosado even took the time to answer a few questions…
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Mr. Lung: Please give us a brief synopsis of your school’s current baseball program. What level is the level of competition? Any accolades of note? How many active participants?
Coach Rosado: I just want to say thank you for this contribution to our program. A brief overview of the program is as follows: we, Chicago Bulls College Prep, started playing baseball during the 2010 season. So we have been in existence only three years now. In that time we have appeared in back-to-back conference championship games. Unfortunately we lost both games. As far as participants, we have two teams. We have a junior varsity and a varsity team. On the JV team we had 18 players and on the varsity we had 16 players.
Mr. Lung: Your school’s mission statement is to “prepare students for college graduation and purposeful citizenship by exhibiting ambitious scholarship, self-discipline, honorable character, and a fit lifestyle.” How does your baseball program help promote this statement?
Coach Rosado: We want to promote the development of good, honorable young men by playing well and respecting our opponents and the game. The majority of our players have GPAs that average from 3.0 to 3.6 and we also have a few student athletes with a 4.0 GPA.
Mr. Lung: What sort of unique challenges do inner city baseball programs face today?
Coach Rosado: There just are not enough decent baseball diamonds for all of the high schools in the inner city.
Mr. Lung: Do you have any initial ideas of how you might like to use the $750 donation to better your baseball program? To purchase equipment? Uniforms? Field maintenance?
Coach Rosado: Yes, we, as a baseball program need a batting cage. Since we do not have a practice field behind our school, like a lot of the suburban teams, we must get an indoor batting cage to compete at the highest level.
Mr. Lung: Lastly, if there is anything you would like us and our readers to know about your baseball program — a specific story or standout individual or anything like that — please let us know. We want to help promote baseball for our city’s youth and are eager to spread any good news your team and its players might have to share.
Coach Rosado: In our first year, 2010, we started our program with only 11 players and our record was 4 – 9. We lost in the 1st round of the playoffs. The following year (2011) we had 24 players and a record of 20 – 4. We lost in the conference championship game. Due to all of the hard work and dedication put forth by our players, we have had much success in a short amount of time.
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While Mr. Krause told me he hoped to see RSBS emblazoned jerseys on city fields in the Chi, I think we can both agree that Coach Rosado and the Chicago Bulls Prep baseball team will find a good use for your hard earned dollars. With limited resources, they’ve already made the championship game two years in a row! Here’s to wishing them the very best in the future as they aim to take the title!
Okay, I’m not Irish. I’m Scottish. We make the whisky. But when it comes to beer, it just doesn’t get any better than Ireland’s very own Guinness!!! I’m assuming you already have a pint in your hand. If not, GET ONE!
And while doing so, please take a moment to join RSBS and Guinness in setting the world record for the largest St. Patrick’s Day party on the planet! It’s easy. Just go to Guinness.com, verify you’re 21 years or older, then click “Join The Party.” Just type in your first name, country and zip code and then in the “optional code” box, enter the code “REDS” and Guinness will send $1 to RSBS, a dollar which we’ll be donating to Baseball Tomorrow Fund participant, Noble Network Charter Schools.
To show our appreciation, think on the following:
And the only active baseballers I can think of named Patrick right now are… none! Since Pat the Bat retired, I can’t think of a single one player named Patrick.
So that would be right around the same time the Cubs celebrate 8,853 years without a World Series title.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
And there is no doubt. Hall of Famer Dave Winfield gives. A lot.
From being the first active professional athlete to establish an official 501(c)(3) charitable organization (The Winfield Foundation) to funding the Dave Winfield Nutrition Center at Hackensack University Medical Center to providing entire blocks of game tickets for underprivileged youth in San Diego, giving back to the community has always been a high priority for the 12 time Major League All-Star.
“I think part of it comes from the area of the country I’m from in St. Paul and Minneapolis, major corporations used to always give a part of their pre-tax dollars to charity. For some reason, that’s just always sunk in.”
“And with my Winfield Foundation, we try to give to things that deal with health and education; I’ve used sports as a kind of carrot to lead people into these areas.”
But as Winfield admits, the strongest inspiration for his remarkable spirit of philanthropy comes from his mother, Arline, a selfless woman who tragically passed away from breast cancer after seeing her son play in the 1988 All-Star Game. In an effort to further educate the public, Winfield has teamed up with Ask.com and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to form “Answers for the Cure”, allowing baseball fans and people everywhere to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.
For every person who goes to Ask.com/ForTheCure and uses the search engine, Ask.com will donate ten cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Contributions will help fund life-saving research, education, screening services and community outreach projects.
“Early detection is the most important thing,” Winfield remarks. “There is no cure, but if you detect it early on, you can combat it. If you’re late, there may not be a second chance.”
In his mother’s case, there was no second chance; but by giving back to the community, Winfield keeps her spirit alive. And he is not alone.
In fact, many current Major Leaguers have adopted Winfieldian philanthropic lifestyles, donating their time, money and efforts to educating the public on important health and educational issues. Nick Swisher, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira… these are just a few of those giving back.
“Derek Jeter,” says Winfield, “he stands out as a person who has been totally committed, using his career and his life to be a role model and a good example for others to follow. He has a great foundation. He’s raised millions of dollars. He has helped so many kids. One day, when he retires, he will have affected tens of thousands of people for sure.”
Indeed, Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation and Jeter’s Leaders Program have both done incalculable work inspiring young people to live active, healthy, substance free lives, rewarding academic achievement and promoting social activism. And Jeter’s inspiration for establishing such charitable work?
One might even say Winfield inspires us all to give back to our respective communities. Who else could turn an unfortunate (and inadvertent) 1983 Toronto seagull killing into a charitable endeavor that raised over $60,000 by donating two paintings to an Easter Seals auction?
Whether it’s hitting a World Series winning double off Charlie Leibrandt in extra innings or educating the public through selfless charity work, one thing is certain:
Dave Winfield is clutch.
And now you can be too. Join Dave and RSBS in the fight against breast cancer. Make a difference today.
Written by Jeffery Lung
Special thanks to Zack Nobinger of Taylor PR for arranging the interview with Dave Winfield.
(Below image courtesy of Padres Nation)