Acknowledging the significance of baseball in the Civil Rights movement, some 20 youth in the custody of veteran coaches William Phillips Jr., Keith William, and several Buck Leonard Association volunteers recently traveled to Augusta, Ga., to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. sixth annual East vs. West All Star Baseball Classic.
The classic is sponsored each year by Metropolitan Junior Baseball League. The league is a 48-year-old 501(c)3 African-American operated nonprofit baseball league with league members in 20 states and the Bahamas.
The classic, co-hosted this year by Paine College and Augusta Regent State University, takes place each year during the MLK holiday weekend and provided divisional play for 12- to 19-year-olds.
Buck Leonard Association for Sports & Human Enrichment took the opportunity to join its baseball partner organizations in their efforts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.by engaging in productive baseball activities and by taking time to reflect on the accomplishments of Dr. King, Jackie Robinson, Buck Leonard and other Civil Rights pioneers.
The Buck Leonard Association welcomed the chance to promote its mantra of “Watching Children Grow up Rocky Mount” with the notion that this involves getting beyond local venues to gain new perspectives in order to help youth broaden their world views.
The weekend of sports and personal enrichment events included tours of two colleges – giving youth the opportunity to speak with guidance counselors to discuss the requirements for enrollment in four year universities and attend the Georgia Regent University vs. North Georgia State College basketball game.
The association’s goal of promoting development opportunities for minority youth comes on the heels of a recent New York Times article citing MLB Commissioner Bud Selig’s appointment of Dave Dombrowski, president of the Tigers, to head up a task force to identify ways to get young African-Americans interested in baseball. The committee is to make a formal recommendation on their findings this month
The Buck Leonard Association for Sports & Human Enrichment is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization poised to provide a full program of sports and personal enrichment activities for youth at risk for academic failure and school drop-out.
The organization’s enrollment goal also incorporates an objective for population diversity – to serve youth from
various races, ethnic and socio-economic sectors of the community.
Persons wishing to provide in-kind contributions or volunteer services should email firstname.lastname@example.org.