League 42 unveils the sculpture of Jackie Robinson.

jhawk1000

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2013
Messages
765
Location
Kansas
Real Name
Mel
7 years ago, my wife and I were on the internet and I saw an announcement from one of our sportswriters of his intent to attempt to start a new league for baseball for those kids 5-14 who were inner-city kids with few sports activities because of the cost. We volunteered and soon we were walking the inner city trying to sign up kids with the league. We went to football games for very young kids, we walked the neighborhoods and put out flyers, and walked in a very hot parade from the University to the park we planned to make the home base of the league. We had high hopes and big plans. The biggest was to get the community involved since most of us were professional people and we were trying to convince people of very modest means to give us a chance. We decided to charge $30.00 per family for however many kids were in that family which included a new glove donated from sponsors, uniforms, hats, coaching, umpiring, and all except shoes. We still charge this same amount but have scholarships for those unable to pay.
We set several rules over the first few weeks after organizing. We wanted a meaningful name, we wanted an affordable name, we wanted gender inclusion and we wanted to do more than just play baseball--we wanted a learning center for kids after school and when the league was not in session. We started our season with just over 150 kids on 16 teams on two fields. Because of persistence, we now are at 575 kids, 3 fields including a field for t-ball, and coach pitch baseball with artificial turf, lighting, and grandstands. The other two fields are for older kids and also have been totally renovated with grass and they have lights also and new seating. We teach the kids sportsmanship and do not tolerate unprofessional players or fans or parents.
Our funds have come from our city in the number of funds totaling 1.5 million, plus they have maintained the buildings and fields. Oh yes, we added a concession stand which is staffed by volunteers from inner-city football league fans. It has become a jewel in our city recreation and has already supplied kids on their high school teams and several now playing college ball. The pressures of big-time baseball are not on the kids as they learn and this is our goal.
Recently we raised money to have a local artist do a bronze statue of the player our league loves, Jackie Robinson who was the first black in professional Major League Baseball. He wore number 42 on his jersey and this is where our league comes from. The league is a fine mixture of all racial and ethnic make-up of boys and girls. We had the unveiling of the statue on 4/15 and our first game of the season on the 19th. Last year was lost to COVID.
My wife and I have been the photographers for the league for all its years and we are proud to do it. We have placed thousands of images on the Facebook page for League 42 so give it a look if you so desire. Here are a few pics of the statue unveiling and the first game.
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