Zack Hample's charity drive -- frequently asked questions
How much money are you hoping to raise this season?
I'm aiming for $5,000.
What exactly will the money be used for?
Pitch In For Baseball has two big expenses: storing the equipment that's donated to them and then shipping it to kids and programs all over the world. The charity also needs money to buy certain items; no one ever donates bases or pitching machines, for example, and there are never enough baseballs to go around, so that requires constant funding.
Is this charity legit?
Yes! Totally. Not only is Pitch In For Baseball a registered 501(c)(3) charity, but it's an official partner of MLB International, as well as Little League Baseball, SI Kids, and the International Baseball Federation (which sponsors the World Baseball Classic). It doesn't get any more legit that that, but if you're still not convinced, click here and here and here and here to read articles about this charity on MLB.com. Click here to watch a segment about it on the NBC Nightly News. Also, the Yankees donated $150,000 to Pitch In For Baseball in exchange for Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th-hit ball, which I snagged on June 19, 2015.
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes, to the fullest extent of the law.
Will it actually help if I pledge just one penny per ball?
Absolutely. Not only will the money itself be useful, but the more people who get involved, the more I'll be able to convince others to get on board. I often discuss the charity in interviews and mention how many donors there are.
So wait, when exactly would I pay?
Your credit card would be charged monthly over the course of the 2017 season. You can make a pledge at any time, but we won't know how many baseballs I end up with (and therefore how much your donation will amount to) until the World Series is done. That won't be 'til the end of October.
If I make a pledge for 10 cents in the middle of the season, will I end up contributing the same amount as someone who pledged 10 cents at the beginning?
Yes. The pledges cover all the balls I snag, regardless of when the pledges are actually made. Let's say I've already snagged 100 balls, and THEN you make a pledge for 10 cents per ball. You'll see "$10.00" appear next to your name, and then every ball I catch after that will add another 10 cents.
What are some of PIFB's current projects?
One big project is called "RBI." This stands for Reviving Baseball in the Inner cities. PIFB is teaming up with Major League Baseball to send equipment to kids in urban areas around the United States (Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco, to name a few). PIFB is also working with the Confederation of European Baseball to help bring the sport to faraway places like Denmark, Malta, Iceland, Slovenia, Finland, Serbia, and Belarus. Click here to read more about PIFB's current projects. You can also click here to check out the official PIFB blog, and you can follow the charity on Twitter @PitchInBaseball.
Why are you even doing this?
Because I love baseball, and I think kids are great, and it's a fun way to raise money for a good cause.
So, this whole thing was your idea?
Well, yeah. But I have to give credit to the folks at Pitch In For Baseball (especially executive director David Rhode) for recognizing the idea and trusting me in 2009 to follow through with it on their behalf.
Okay, what exactly do I need to do to make a pledge?
Great question. Click here and look for the green "PLEDGE NOW!" button.