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August 26, 2010

BSC Baseball making a difference in the community

The Birmingham-Southern Baseball team received plenty of accolades and recognition for their accomplishments on the field this past season, but what may be even more important is the work they do off the field. Community service has played a huge part in helping make a name for the baseball program. In the past two years, players have tutored underprivileged children, run numerous baseball camps, renovated a youth baseball park and assisted with countless youth practices. This year, they decided to give back even more.

The Panther Baseball team partnered up with the American Baseball Foundation in January to help head up an after-school program that teaches baseball fundamentals, as well as different aspects of education. “Getting involved with the youth in our community is something we feel very strongly about. We are fortunate to be at such a great place and play this great game. This provides us a chance to give back, while also exposing these players and their parents about BSC and our program,” said Head Coach Jan Weisberg.

Every single player has gotten involved, and every Thursday this past spring, BSC honored their commitment to a number of schools. This includes Bessemer Classical School, Forest Hills Middle School, Princeton Elementary and Robinson Elementary. The number of students for the after-school programs increased dramatically as word spread about how much the kids enjoyed having the players around.

In addition to ABF, BSC also partnered with the Birmingham Barons to put on four clinics this year before games where kids get to come onto the field at Regions Park and work hitting, pitching and fielding with the Barons players while the BSC players and staff help to organize and instruct. Last year, 150 kids showed up at one session, so more clinics were necessary. It was followed up with a BSC Baseball camp at Regions Park on June 28–July 1. “The feedback from the clinics and camps we have done over the past three years has been tremendous,” said Weisberg.

Finishing the year strong on the field, in the classroom and in the community was extremely important to everyone involved with the program.

“When parents tell you that you and your players have done the best job compared to others, that is an endorsement for the program. These families have become fans of the College and our program, and [that] has helped people realize that BSC Baseball is alive and well,” Weisberg concluded.