Helping Kids in Puerto Rico Play Ball Again
Global Health, RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBarnabas Health)
My feelings about the New York Yankees have been well documented over the years although frankly it’s more about their fans then the team itself.
As is often the case for me baseball’s postseason is simply a matter of rooting against the pinstripes and for whoever is playing them. My day as an Oakland A’s fan is now over and it’s time to jump on the Red Sox which is actually quite easy because Boston has always been my favorite American League team.
As much as I wanted the Yankees to lose the wild card game I admit that getting Yanks-Red Sox in the next round is a treat and really the way it should be. In all honesty I think the guys from the Bronx will win the series but I’ll be “Boston Strong” for the next week or so and then I’ll have to jump on another bandwagon.
Here’s a baseball story with a local twist:
It was just over a year ago that Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the beach town of Loiza like most the island did not escape the wrath of a storm that would claim over 3,000 lives. A predominantly poor town with a population of about 30,000 Loiza is like the rest of Puerto Rico where baseball is the most popular sport in terms of active participants and spectators.
Young boys playing just about everywhere was a common sight but obviously the hurricane changed that dramatically as facilities were ruined and equipment like just about everything else was lost and damaged.
RWJBarnabas Health and the Lakewood BlueClaws teamed up recently to help bring baseball back to children in Loiza. The two held an equipment drive at FirstEnergy Park over several weeks during the season and were able to collect dozens of bats, balls, gloves and helmets along with clothing and hats.
During a recent visit to the island by the RWJBarnabas Global Health team they distributed the equipment to the young players who had been using “imaginary baseballs” before receiving the ones collected during the drive.
RWJBarnabas and the BlueClaws partner often on initiatives to improve the health and well-being of communities in the area they serve. They should be applauded for their efforts to help bring joy to young baseball players in Puerto Rico.