For many of us, we get caught up, maybe even enamored with what occurs during the regular season. We look to what happens on the field. We view stats and video and tirelessly analyze such. We dream of getting this player or that player in a trade or through free agency.
By doing this, we tend to overlook those that work and contribute to the Reds organization with passion and fervor. It shouldn’t be that way. There are individuals that volunteer or work for the Reds that truly don’t have an offseason. It’s a year-long passion.
Mark Sheldon has published a couple of articles that will hopefully enlighten everyone on such matters.
One aspect of the Reds which came even more to the forefront this past season was the Reds Community Fund. With the #HatsOffCIN campaign on Twitter, a part of the purpose of the RCF was etched in the minds of Reds fans. All 30 MLB teams had a specified hashtag where those active on Twitter could attach that tag. The team that had the highest volume of tweets with that hashtag would receive $50,000. The Reds fans spoke (or shall I say, tweeted) the loudest and the most.
Back in September, the RCF received the prestigious 2011 Steve Patterson Award for excellence in sports philanthropy. BRM highlighted what the award means, but the work the RCF performs is not one that takes a break just because there’s no MLB games happening.
Far from it really.
Sheldon re-associates us with the RCF and all the great things it has done for the Cincinnati area. Maybe the most impressive aspect is that with the still troubling economic times, the RCF netted an astounding $1.4 million in revenues. And those revenues are dollars well spent.
The reach of the RCF is to improve the lives of youth around the city. Field renovations, the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), the Urban Youth Academy (UYA) and the Reds Rookie Success League are all arms of the RCF. Each playing a significant role.
And they are significant. Take how a day for one that works within the RBI and CYA approaches a typical day. Sheldon opens that door for us. He introduces us to Paulette Bryant, head coach of the girls softball team at Taft High School. That’s not the only “hat” she wears either. She dons many others. I highly suggest reading the whole piece. It will highly enlighten you.
And players and former players find time, too. On December 4, Yonder Alonso, Tom Browning and Chris Welsh will be on hand with a special celebration as the Champions Baseball Academy moves to a new location at 5994 Linneman St. Alonso will conduct a hitting clinic while Browning and Welsh will handle the pitching side.
Just because there’s no action on the field at GABP, we shouldn’t think that all the offseason work is done only by the front office.
There is far more going on than we think as the work is truly non-stop.