Submitted by Howard Paul
Carl Pavano has appeared in almost 300 games during his 13 major league pitching career, but it’s likely his role in restoring the youth baseball program in Ludlow, VT will earn him his first official “save”.
While millions prepared for, and ultimately dodged a bullet, when Hurricane Irene took aim on the Eastern seaboard this past September, one state that took a direct hit was Vermont. Historic flooding ensued in towns across the state. One such town, Ludlow, was deluged by 15 inches of rain from the storm and suffered great losses including its youth baseball program where fields and equipment were effectively washed away.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Carl Pavano makes his offseason home in Ludlow and saw an immediate need to step in. “Disasters like this effect communities and families for years,” said Pavano. “I have been fortunate enough to have met great people throughout this town. And some of these people have been impacted by this disaster in ways that I could not imagine. I would not know what to do if I was in their position. I am in a position to help Ludlow restore the things that keep the kids in this town smiling. It was a true team effort. With the added support of the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and Pitch in for Baseball, the town of Ludlow will get the equipment back they lost in this disaster and come spring the fields that were flooded out will be back into shape giving the kids a place to laugh, smile and play.”
Pavano and Ludlow Parks & Recreation Director, Howard Paul reached out to Pitch In For Baseball to see if the youth baseball charity would be able to step in and make sure the waterlogged and missing equipment could be replaced in time for the start of the spring season. Pitch In For Baseball and Carl Pavano will present that replacement equipment to the league on January 11 at 6 PM at the Ludlow Community Center where the town’s resident Major Leaguer will also conduct a baseball clinic for the local kids.
“The decision to help the community of Ludlow was an easy one,” said David Rhode, Founder and Executive Director of Pitch In For Baseball. “It was clear from the start that Carl was determined to make this happen.” Just earlier this year, Pitch In For Baseball had provided equipment to numerous towns across the state of Mississippi impacted by flooding, and to Joplin, MO after tornadoes devastated that community, and most recently in Japan to help kids in schools and Little League programs who lost so much in the historic earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
“A heart-felt thank you goes out to Carl Pavano and Pitch In For Baseball for helping us to rebuild our youth baseball program after the flood,” commented Howard Paul. “Baseball is such an important part of our community, so the damage to our fields and loss of equipment was devastating. Opening day of our baseball season will truly be special this year!”
In addition to its work when Mother Nature impacts a youth baseball community, Pitch In For Baseball works closely with communities around the United States and around the world seeking to help give kids a chance to participate in the games of baseball and softball.
“Much of the equipment we donate—some new, some gently used—is from kids and youth baseball organizations who share our passion for the game.”
Those wanting to support Pitch In For Baseball’s efforts can make a donation of equipment or financial support by going to www.pitchinforbaseball.org. “We need to build our supply of equipment so that we can continue to say ‘yes’ whenever and wherever the need arises,” said Rhode.
About Pitch In For Baseball:
Since 2005, Pitch In For Baseball has delivered over 150,000 pieces of equipment and uniforms impacting over 115,000 children in need. Donations have assisted more than 250 communities in the United States and more than 70 countries worldwide. Pitch In For Baseball is a 501c3 charity dedicated to increasing participation among underserved children to the games of baseball and softball.