Results tagged ‘ Community Outreach ’

10 Times This Year Dee Gordon Made A Difference

UPDATE: How could we forget about the day Dee took a young Fish fan suffering from leukemia under his wing? Watch the unforgettable day unfold here:

You know Dee Gordon as “The Flash.” He steals bases regularly, gets a hit seemingly every night, and never fails to cap off a big win with the perfect dunk.

What you might not have seen as much, though, is the other side of Dee… off the field.

His contributions to the community this year have been tremendous — and they haven’t gone unnoticed. Dee is the Marlins nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, going to a player in each league who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Be sure to vote for him by today at!

Scroll down to see just 10 of the many times this year Dee made a difference:

#10) During Ayudan Week in February, Dee spent a day visiting little leaguers at Miami Carol City Park, where he shared baseball tips and gave advice to the young aspiring athletes.


#9) Dee also teamed up with former Marlin Cliff Floyd to coach a Marlins RBI baseball game during Ayudan Week. We’re not sure who had a better time: Dee and Cliff or the kids.


#8) Back in April, Dee joined forces with Blechman Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to promote awareness and raise money. Dee’s goal? Stealing as many bases as he could that month. All funds raised during the “stolen base challenge” — called Dee-Feat Parkinson’s Disease — went directly towards Parkinson’s research. You can read more about Dee’s efforts here.


#7) In honor of Military Appreciation Day in May, Dee and his teammates spent the afternoon with veterans at the Honda Classic. Based on their smiles, it’s obvious the day was one to remember.


#6) In May, Marlins RBI athletes participated in a youth baseball clinic with the second baseman, where they learned hitting and fielding techniques. Getting advice from a batting champion and potential Gold Glover? Priceless.



#5) Dee visited students at Lenora B. Smith Elementary School in June, where he even helped teach a math class!


#4) During select games, young Fish fans are given the opportunity to be a “Grounds Crew for a Day.” Each time, without fail, Dee took it upon himself to greet the children who came his way, giving them a “high-five” and — if they were lucky — their very own baseball.

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#3) After an elderly fan was left started by a foul ball off his bat last month, Dee went above and beyond to remedy the situation. He ran over to the 93-year-old as soon as the inning ended and spoke with her to ensure she was okay. Shortly thereafter, Dee returned — this time with the gift of a bat and baseball. You can read more about about the touching moment here.




#2) Just a few days later, another ball hit off Dee’s bat nearly struck a young fan. Without hesitation, Dee collected one of his bats, signed it — with an apology! — and gave it to the boy. Day made.



#1) Dee’s “Flash of Hope” is a program designed to help children who have lost a parent from domestic violence. Once per month during the season, Dee is paired with a child who lost a parent. He gives them the VIP treatment, taking them inside the clubhouse, introducing them to his teammates, and even spending time together on the field during batting practice. Next year, Dee hopes to expand the program even further.



With all of that said, it’s a no-brainer Dee Gordon has made an incredible difference in the community this year. To help him get recognized for his efforts, vote for him for the Roberto Clemente Award at! Voting ends today!

Marlins Ayudan in August: Week One Recap

Last week was a busy one for the community outreach department of the Miami Marlins. Summer was a welcome break from our Marlins Ayudan School Partnership Program. It allowed us to complete multiple Ayudan service projects every week of the summer, but with the start of school right around the corner, it was time for us to begin planning for the 2015-2016 school year.

Adrian Mora, Marlins Ayudan Manager, Sarah Orndorff, Community Outreach and Educational Initiatives Coordinator and I, Community Outreach Intern, met with five of our seven partner schools to discuss proposals for the coming year. We have a lot of great events planned for our partners, the first being “Welcome Back” breakfasts for staff members sponsored by correlating Marlins Ayudan teams. Other benefits include the continuation of our signature MASPP programs (CWS, mentoring, and reading literacy), vision and dental screenings, student volunteer action teams and more!

Marlins Ayudan also stayed busy last week with two events: Marlins G.P.S. Summer BBQ at Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services and Ana’s Heroes Lunch Preparation at Fisher House. Miami Bridge is a new partner of Marlins Ayudan. Friday was the first time an Ayudan team has visited the shelter. Miami Bridge is a 24-hour emergency shelter for abused, neglected, and abandoned youth. The organization’s mission is to rescue and empower those in need.


Marlins G.P.S. team members hung out with and got to know youth at the shelter. They played pool, video games and board games. Scattergories was a crowd favorite! I think at least 20 rounds must have been played! For lunch, everyone enjoyed burgers, hot dogs, popcorn chicken, chips, fruits and vegetables. Cupcakes and a cake with “Marlins Ayudan <3’s Miami Bridge” were served for dessert. Everyone from the shelter was so happy and invited us to come back again soon.



Ana’s Heroes prepared an Italian feast for the guests of Fisher House. Veterans’ families enjoyed a pasta bar with homemade sauces, salad, garlic bread and ice cream for dessert. Guests lined up, waiting patiently to serve themselves hot, fresh food. When Marlins Ayudan first began to visit Fisher House for meal preparations, they used to see one, maybe two guests if they were lucky. Marlins Ayudan visits Fisher House from 10:00am-12:30pm, which is during the same time families visit their loved ones at the VA next door. Since our Fisher House visits have become more regular, every Friday, the guests start crowding the dining area before the food is even set out! It is a great experience for all. Team members get to bond with and learn about one another and guests get a delicious home cooked meal. Fisher House visits are filled all the way through September. Check back in to see what Marlins Ayudan team The Blue Angels has on this week’s menu!


Blue Shirts Learn The Ins and Outs of Disaster Preparedness

Are you prepared for a disaster?

On May 27th, Marlins Ayudan Blue Shirts received a one-on-one lesson in disaster preparedness from Misty Lupinacci, an AmeriCorps volunteer and emergency management support specialist from HandsOn Broward.123

Misty gave a total of eight 20-minute presentations at Marlins Park to all staff. She began her presentation explaining the most common disastrous situations for Floridians. Those include fire, floods, and hurricanes. I learned that floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S. and that electricity can be carried through water, so when officials say stay out of the water, listen!

I also learned that it takes less than two minutes to get out of your house in the case of a fire and that the number one cause of household fires is overloaded electrical sockets. Misty also warned us not to keep cleaning products under our kitchen sinks because most fires start in the kitchen and those chemicals are extremely flammable. I went home that same day and moved all of my cleaning products from the kitchen to the laundry room!

Last was hurricane preparedness. Hurricane season is from June 1st through November 30th. The last hurricane to hit Florida was Wilma in 2005. A lot has changed in ten years, including new residents to the area. Some people who live in Florida now may have never experienced a hurricane. For those who have, it doesn’t hurt to know the facts, make a plan, and prepare a kit.


Misty explains, “It’s important to be prepared because first responders will not always be able to help you immediately after a disaster. Preparation reduces the risk of death, injury, and property damage during a disaster. Every $1 spent on preparation saves $4 in recovery.”

One important thing to remember when preparing your property for a hurricane is to go tapeless; don’t tape windows because it causes glass to break in large shards, which causes more damage. Invest in shutters. Trim trees and bushes that have dead or already broken branches.

The next important step is to make a communication plan. Misty asks, “How will you get in touch with each other if you’re separated and your phones don’t work? What if your neighborhood is being evacuated?” The solution is to create a list of numbers including work, parents’ cell, neighbors, schools and one out-of-town contact. The out-of-town contact serves as the middle man in case separated family members have service at different times.  Choose a meeting spot outside your neighborhood, like a library or shelter, where your family can reconnect if separated, and role-play what you would do during a disaster.

Last, but not least, is preparing a kit. Having a kit could be the difference between life and death. Essential items to have in your kit include:

  • Non-perishable food
  • First aid kit
  • Water (2 gallons of water per person, per day)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Prescriptions
  • Manual can opener
  • Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Baby supplies
  • Pet Supplies

Misty’s presentation was 20 minutes well spent. I didn’t have a kit or a plan before she came to Marlins Park. I feel better prepared now that I have the facts.

HandsOn Broward/Miami has a Disaster Response Team and a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) to help the community in times of disaster. To learn about how to get involved visit,

ICYMI – The Month of Awesome

Wondering where Beyond the Ballpark bloggers have been? Wondering what ICYMI stands for? So many questions, so many answers in this blog entry!

Your beloved bloggers have not forgotten you, in fact we were thinking of you and your reading interests when we set out to have the best month ever, hereby referred to as The Month of Awesome.

So, Beyond the Ballpark blog fans, In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are ten things that made June at Marlins Park The Month of Awesome!

 Citrus Cup Softball Classic (June 2nd)


The Marlins Wives took on the Rays Wives in the 4th Citrus Cup Softball Classic. Marlins Wives won 10-9 evening the series at 2-2, and raised over $2,100 for Marlins RBI Softball.

RBI Career Workshop Launch (June 10th)


Marlins RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) is about more than baseball, it’s about character development. This summer we launched a Career Development seminar during which students receive guidance from employees all across the Marlins front office, like President of Baseball Operations, Mike Hill.

Father’s Day (June 15th)


The Miami Marlins and Major League Baseball celebrated Father’s Day by raising awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer with the goal to “Keep Dad in The Game”. Giancarlo celebrated with a blue arm sleeve for awareness.

Fish N Chips (June 18th)


In its annual Casino Party, Fish N’ Chips, the Marlins Foundation and Event Chair Jarrod Saltalamacchia raised money for Marlins RBI.

Camp Boggy Creek Sendoff (June 19th)


In Partnership with UM’s Alex’s Place, the Marlins served as a departure site for campers headed to the Seriously Fun Camp that any child, despite their illness can enjoy.

Buses For Baseball (June 19th)


Through the MLBPA over 50 kids from Overtown Youth Center and Roberto Clemente Park had a once-in-a-lifetime batting practice experience. They all received baseballs and player autographs.

Our Community Salutes (June 20th)


Local High School graduates were officially sworn into the Marines, Navy, and Army at Marlins Park.

Play Sun Smart (June 20th-22nd)


Major League Baseball and the Miami Marlins teamed up to increase skin cancer awareness. Local Boys and Girls Clubers helped deliver sun screen throughout the ballpark.

RBI Baseball Clinic (June 21st)


Marlins RBI league participants were invited to a day of instruction on the Marlins Park field.

RBI Softball Clinic (June 28th)


Marlins RBI Softball ladies received expert instruction in a big league facility as well.


ICYMI – last month was awesome! Here’s to another awesome month in July.



Hello From South West Asia!

Man what a difference a day makes! We flew from Kuwait to an undisclosed location in SW Asia.  We landed around 1:30 p.m. and we were greeted at the airport by a young man holding a Miami Marlins sign, wearing a University of South Alabama T-shirt.  The young man’s name is Marcus and he’s from Citronelle.

He drove us to the base we would be staying for the next two nights. Once we cleared entry (we had to exchange passports for security cards) they brought us to our living quarters.  After the experience in Kuwait, I was fully expecting and prepared to rough it again.  Well, I was shocked when they drove me to the General’s suite.  I had to break out my best Gomer Pyle…Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!  It’s a two room suite complete with full living room and furniture, TV, refrigerator, washer and dryer, king size bed, computer, dresser drawers and a stand up closet.  It also has a large bathroom, complete with towels, soap & shampoo.

So after check-in, we met with the Base Commander and had dinner in his private dinning room.  Following dinner, he took us to this large covered pavilion where they had country music playing, 50+ tables and a bar for the troops, which had a 2 drink limit.  (I’ve never counted to one so many times in my life).  He put everything on his tab and we hung out and visited with many of the troops until 12:30 a.m.  Earlier at 10:00 p.m., they sounded Revelry and everyone stood at attention facing the flag.  Had a great night sleep in that huge suite.  Revelry sounded again at 6:00 a.m., I headed to the DFAC (dinning facilities) for coffee.

We met as a group at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast.  Our day started with a tour of the base.  We hit the mechanical shop, electrical shop, and two other support areas.  At each location we had meet and greets where we signed autographs and gave away Marlins hats, back-packs and t-shirts. We then headed over to the flight line.  Here we got to board about five different airplanes.  We saw a Drone, a U2, a cargo plane, an info & recon plane, a re-fueling plane, then we saw the real bad boys.
The F-22 and F-15… all I can say is WOW!!!  We can sleep well at night knowing these planes provide our first line of defense and protection. They showed us how they load the bombs, let us sit in the cock-pit of the F-15… but they made it very clear NO PHOTOS!!! They had an exercise mission so we got to see 10 of the planes take off.

At 12:00 p.m. we went to another dining facility on base called Windy’s.  The food was excellent, they even had chicken wings! From there we went to three more meet and greets.  First stop was the shipping and receiving center, then we went to the civil engineering department and finally the security/weapons center.  I got to try on one of the armor weighted vests (35 lbs.) I cant imagine having that on in 120 degrees of heat walking in the desert, but man do I have new found respect for what our soldiers go through.  We got to hold all different type weapons from machine guns, grenade launcher, hand pistols, etc. I cant remember all of the different numbers that were associated with each weapon, but I can say without a doubt, they will do the job.

After that we got to interact with with the police dogs.  They gave us a full demonstration how the dogs work and attacked would-be predators. They then asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to put on the jacket and be attacked by the dog.  Well guess who raised his hand and volunteered? Heck yeah, Papi put on the suit! So first, I assumed the position and offered my arm for attack. On command, BAM! That dog hit me with a full lunge and grabbed my arm, the pressure of his bite was like slamming your arm in a car door. Then his teeth locked on and I felt the sting, he had broke a blood vessel in my forearm. They pried his jaws off the jacket.  Then after he had retreated, they asked me to run like I was getting away. I replied, “The only running I’m doing is out of the gate!”

What an adrenalin rush!

Tonight, we have an open event at the pavilion, then dinner.  I will be showing off my battle scar complete with bruise and broken skin, until next time, Dan Jennings signing off…

To learn more about the Miami Marlins’ fifth visit overseas to our troops please visit: or follow us at @MarlinsAyudan


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