Snagging baseballs for charity



You know how some people run marathons for charity and get their friends to pledge money for every mile? Well, that's sort of what I've done for the past six years, and I'm doing it again in 2015, except my marathon is the entire Major League Baseball season, and instead of running miles, I'll be attempting to snag home run balls during games.

I'm raising money for a non-profit charity called Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB) that provides baseball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. In 2011, for example, when the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, PIFB helped get the Little Leagues back up and running by replacing all their damaged gear. Two years later, PIFB delivered equipment to a dozen communities in New York and New Jersey that had been devastated by Hurricane Sandy -- and the charity did the same thing in 2008 after Hurricane Ike tore through Galveston and other parts of Texas. Within the last few years, PIFB has supported a youth softball program in Ecuador, an orphanage in Haiti, a school in the Philippines, and dozens of Urban Initiatives right here in America. PIFB has shipped equipment and uniforms to more than 75 countries (including Poland, Uganda, Israel, Iraq, Nicaragua, and the Cook Islands) and over 300 communities around the United States.

Not only is PIFB keeping kids interested in baseball, but it's also keeping them off the streets, giving them a chance to exercise, and helping them find their passion.





This is where I'm hoping you'll come in. One way to help, of course, is to donate equipment directly to PIFB, but another way is to pledge some money for every game home run ball that I snag during the 2015 season. In previous seasons, every single ball I snagged raised money -- batting practice, toss-ups, foul balls, home runs, you name it. Because I snag hundreds of balls each season, people used to donate as little as one penny per ball, or a few cents, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, or more. But now, because the only balls that'll raise money are home runs that I snag DURING games, the math is much different. If I don't get any this season, it'll be a total disaster, and if I end up snagging double digits, I'll be stunned and overjoyed. There's no telling exactly how many game home run balls I'll end up with (which kinda makes this whole fundraising process more fun), but if you take a look at this list, you'll get some idea of what to expect.

For the sake of doing simple math, let's say I end up snagging five gamers. If you were to pledge $1 per ball, you'd end up donating $5 to this cause. If you were to pledge $10 per ball, that would be $50. And so on.

How much money am I hoping to raise? What exactly will the money be used for? Is this charity legit? (Totally!) What are some of their other projects? Are donations tax deductible? Why am I even doing this?

Click here to read the FAQs.

Making a pledge takes less than a minute, and once you're done, you'll have the option of adding your name and website to the list of donors below. I've raised more than $190,000 over the past six seasons, including a huge donation from the Yankees after I snagged Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th career hit and gave the ball to him. In 2013 BIGS Sunflower Seeds donated a large sum, and four years earlier, All-Star closer Heath Bell also donated to my fundraiser. With your help, I hope to keep supporting this cause. Thanks very much for your consideration.

Click here to pledge.

2015 totals: 113 games, 8 home run balls, 26 donors, $211.64 pledged per ball

(per HR ball)
(so far)
Todd, Tim & Kellan Cook$50.00$
James Lee$25.00$200.00
Ray Burton$25.00$200.00
Argosy Book Store$11.00$
Liz Merry$10.37$
Chris Wood$10.00$80.00
Mike Fletcher$10.00$
Andy Bingham$10.00$
Naomi Hample$9.00$72.00
Elliott Marsh$7.00$56.00
J.B. McCracken$6.00$
Cathy Gary$5.00$40.00
Ryan Sloan$5.00$
Luiz Velaques$5.00$40.00
Kelly Tungland$3.00$24.00
Stuart Jon$3.00$24.00
Chase Anderson$3.00$24.00
Dave Forstad$2.00$16.00
Paul Bertolone$2.00$16.00
Matt Jackson$1.23$
Andrew Gonsalves$1.00$
Anthony Nelson$1.00$8.00
Edward Williams$1.00$8.00

26 Donors$211.64$1693.12