Baseball For Life held it’s first summer camp in 1999. The brainchild of longtime Charlotte Country Day baseball Coach Ed Walton and St Louis Cardinals head coach Mike Shildt – that initial summer camp blossomed into an organization focused on harnessing the collective breadth of the baseball community to enhance the lives of young people. Our mission statement captures the essence of the organization’s goal:
Baseball For Life looks to teach young people throughout the Charlotte community the importance of our four pillars of Character - Service, Stewardship, Leadership and Ownership. These skills are important in the game of baseball are in life. The role of Baseball For Life is to effectively coordinate and channel these our community’s resources in a way which most positively impacts young people. Although Baseball For Life will continue to evolve over the years its initial tangible influence on the community’s youth will be felt primarily through five on-going initiatives.
"I want to take a moment to thank everyone associated with Baseball for Life. The baseball team at James Martin Middle School really appreciated the donated cleats and sports equipment. There are many programs who say that they will help schools and community programs but there is usually a waiting list, a long wait to get items and lots of paperwork. I personally want to thank you for making the process paperless, painless and effortless on our part. It was a pleasure collaborating with you. Consider James Martin Middle School to be Baseball for Life’s NUMBER 1 Fan! "
— Coach Allen, James Martin Middle School
Importantly, Baseball For Life looks to help teach young people throughout the entire community the importance of Service, Stewardship, Leadership, and Ownership. These skills which are so important in the game of baseball are even more important in life. With thousands of baseball players, parents, coaches, and fans throughout our area the breadth of resources available to achieve these goals is staggering. The role of Baseball For Life is to effectively coordinate and channel these resources in a way which most positively impacts young people throughout the community. Although Baseball For Life will continue to evolve over the years its initial tangible influence on the community’s youth will be felt primarily through five on-going initiatives.
Player Clinics to assist in proper instructions for young athletes
Coaches Clinics to help educate those individuals who directly influence young people
Field Improvements focused on upgrading facilities throughout our community
Equipment Drives to help provide needed baseball equipment to teams and athletes
Mentoring Program which will utilize baseball to help teach positive life skills
Perhaps most exciting is the incredible support that Baseball For Life has received from the leaders within the baseball community. The number of premier area coaches which have volunteered their time, ideas, and perspectives is truly humbling. An Advisory Board has been formed consisting of many of these community leaders which will assist in guiding the future direction of Baseball For Life. This willingness to volunteer and give back is a true testament of how powerful the game of baseball can be and what a positive influence it can have throughout an entire life.
We are excited about the positive impact that Baseball For Life has already been able to achieve within our community…..but it is only just starting! Throughout the year we will be coordinating additional equipment drives and looking to partner with schools to assist in field enhancements. Importantly, as conveyed in our mission statement, Baseball For Life will be working to develop a mentoring program which will help support young athletes as they embark on the journey from middle school to high school to college and life. The first step in this process will be a Leadership Summit held during the fall for young men who have already attended one of Baseball For Life’s events. During this Leadership Summit a wide range of topics will be discussed all focused on helping to develop positive life skills.
The driving force behind Baseball For Life are people who love the game of baseball and want to make a difference in others lives. Volunteerism is the foundation of the organization and its success depends entirely on people who want to give back.