Factory Athletics Foundation Connects Baltimore's Carver Vo-Tech High School
Baseball Team with DICK's Sporting Goods Store
Baltimore, MD. – Factory Athletics Foundation recently connected 15 players from Baltimore’s inner city Carver Vo-Tech High School Baseball Team with DICK’S Sporting Goods for an opportunity of a lifetime, and over $3,000 in sports gear and equipment. The event took place on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Store in White Marsh, MD. After enjoying their fill of sandwiches, chips and cookies, the players were ready for the big surprises in store for them.
First up was Josh Muecke, former Minor League Pitcher for the Houston Astros, who was flown in thanks to a Factory Athletics connection. Muecke’s easy-going personality made the guys comfortable from the moment they met him. He gave the players a combination of life and baseball tips. Muecke then graciously stayed around to help the players pick out equipment and gear, offering useful and practical advice as they considered different items and options.
“During the team’s first season, most of the guys did not have cleats, or their own baseball gloves, let alone a uniform,” said Carver baseball head coach Michael Rosenband, “Now, they are leaving here with all of these basics, looking sharp, like a real team. So we cannot thank the Factory Athletics Foundation and DICK’S Sporting Goods enough for making this opportunity come to life.”
Quiet and unassuming, Rosenband’s expressions throughout most of the event gave clue to his extreme gratitude for the team getting this opportunity. Coach Mike, as most of the players call him, also asked them questions throughout the process to help them think through their decisions. “Who can calculate the cost of the Under Armour cleats and the baseball pants for all of our players to determine how much money we have left to spend,” said Coach Mike. At another point he asked, “OK, we have $30 dollars left to spend, should we find a nice shirt for coach Allender while he recovers from his injury?” (Joseph Allender, graduated from Carver in 1989 and volunteers his time, along with Coach Mike and Coach Norm Brady for the team) ”Or, should we buy the team some sunflower seeds?” The team unanimously replied, “A shirt for coach Allender!” Despite their apparent love of sunflower seeds.
“Being a Maryland-based company, it’s important for us to help student-athletes right in our backyard,” said Rob Naddelman, President of Factory Athletics and the Baseball Factory. “Here was a chance to connect our admired partner, DICK’S Sporting Goods, with a local high school team that wouldn’t be able to learn baseball fundamentals, much less participate in games, without these baseball essentials in hand.” Naddelman contacted Dave Natale from DICK’S Sporting Goods, and initiated multiple calls between Coach Mike and Dave in order to make this day a reality.
As a result, DICK’S Sporting Goods generously donated 12 $250 gift cards for the Carver Vo-tech players to use on needed items. Last season, Factory Athletics Foundation was able to get Under Armour donated Jerseys, Easton to donate bats & helmets, and gear from SKLZ, all partners of the Baseball Factory and Factory Athletics. This year Factory Athletics gave Carver Vo-tech Baseball Factory hats for all players and coaches. Carver Vo-Tech, located in Baltimore City, is the oldest historically black vocational high school in Maryland.
Factory Athletics Foundation, (formerly Baseball Factory/Team One Foundation), is the charitable arm of Factory Athletics. The Factory Foundation’s goal is to promote baseball, softball, volleyball, education and quality of life for children across America. The Foundation aims to give underprivileged children an opportunity to enhance their sports experiences through player development camps, national tournaments, showcases, scholarships and college recruiting programs with Factory Athletics. Factory Athletics holds over 700 events throughout the country every year. The Factory’s Foundation, was started during the company's inception in 1994. The importance of giving back and helping the community continues to be a driving force at the Columbia, Maryland based company.