After extensive research and a thorough selection process, Major League Baseball (MLB) chose the Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Sports Program (WHJESP) to organize its Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (RBI) program in Western New York. TEAMHUTCH was honored to provide multiple baseball-related events and competitions for the youth in our community.
During the past year, the WHJESP was able to host two MLB Pitch Hit & Run™ (PHR) events, a FREE, one-day event for boys and girls ages 7-14. Participants took part in baseball or softball competitions to increase their skills and win great prizes. The inaugural event was held at Johnny B. Wiley Stadium in 2021, and the second annual at our new home for sports clinics, McCarthy Park. The various age groups and category winners received their awards in front of a packed house at a Buffalo Bison’s home game at Sahlen Field! These contestants brought their families along to celebrate them while being recognized for their accomplishments at the local level.
Other MLB RBI-sponsored events include Playball Weekend, held in various cities throughout the United States. The program works in conjunction with support from the Buffalo Bison franchise. Nearly 200 youth attended this event and traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania and Ohio. Various skill clinics were conducted, along with another round of Pitch Hit & Run activities. Project Play of Western New York and Wegmans provided lunch for all participants. Several Buffalo Bison players and mascots were on hand, along with the local media, for this spectacular event. The MLB also ensured that every child in attendance received a bat and ball. Our Gear Up A Child Program, in its usual form, gave several softball and baseball leather gloves to children who didn’t have the proper equipment to participate.
Additional activities included a seven-month, two-day-a-week softball and baseball after-school program held in the heart of the Buffalo community. Finally, a free six-week softball and baseball weekly program were held at two local parks over the summer. These young athletes increased their skill levels, learned technique, and strategy, and gained new friendships with this specialty training.
We are in the planning stages for our fall and winter indoor softball and baseball clinics at a local venue soon to be announced. If you are interested in your child experiencing higher skill level training and gaining more knowledge in either softball or baseball, please contact us today at whjsc.org