Results tagged ‘ david samson ’
After a look back at Ayudan Week and all it had to offer, all I can say is, WHAT A WEEK!
The past ten days or so have been extremely eventful for the Miami Marlins and the South Florida community — from the Coconut Grove Arts Festival on Sunday, to the action-packed Winter Warm-Up on Saturday, and everything in the middle.
There was one event above all, though, that really stood out to me. This event really impacted me and truly opened my eyes to how amazing and engaged this organization is to its surrounding communities.
The 2nd Annual Ayudan Baseball Classic was as good as advertised. There was a little bit of everything; we had an honorary bench coach in Dee Gordon, Marlins World Series Head Coach Jack McKeon in attendance, web gems galore and even a home run.
The reason this special event resonated with me is because I, myself, am a product of the greater Miami area and grew up playing little league baseball. Watching those kids out there play in such a beautiful ballpark is something I, as a kid, could only dream of doing.
The Marlins organization has given these kids a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and sitting there in the stands gave me an awesome perspective as to what the Marlins are about. Watching Carlos Reyes hit a 360-foot home run that disappeared into the visitors’ dugout, and fist pumping with Miami Marlins team President David Samson and President of Baseball Operations Mike Hill, was surreal. Dee Gordon was calling for players to chest bump with him.
To sum things up, I think everyone enjoyed themselves this past week. I just feel like my experience really touched me because it hit home.
Hats off to the players of the RBI Baseball Classic for an amazing game. That experience will be something you can tell your grandchildren about someday.
Imagine playing a game of baseball: the smell of a freshly manicured field, the solid clay ground beneath you, the slender handle of a lightweight bat, the buzzing of the crowd.
Now imagine playing baseball without sight.
Impossible, some might say, but those people have never witnessed beep ball.
Beep ball is baseball for the visually impaired. Here’s how it works: There are six innings in a game, three outs per inning, four strikes and one pass ball per batter. The only sighted members of the game are the pitcher and catcher. The bases (2) are four foot padded cylinders with speakers that give off a loud, continuous buzzing sound when activated. There is no second base, only a first and third base. The ball also has a speaker that gives off a continuous beeping sound, hence the name “Beep Ball.” The batter listens for the beeping ball and swings. One of the two bases will be activated. Players must depend on their keen sense of hearing when deciding which base to run to.
The Miami Marlins held their third annual beep ball game at Marlins Park this past Monday during Marlins Ayudan Week, a week in which the Marlins front office staff and players commit to community involvement. 20 students from S.L.A.M. Academy and 20 members from Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, whose ages ranged from seven to 21, joined together to form four teams: the Beep Ball Badgers, the Fire Kings, the Super Sluggers and the Nine Colts. All players were required to wear blindfolds.
Two separate games were held simultaneously, one on the main field and one in left field. The games were an hour long, including a five minute intermission for a field change, allowing all players the opportunity to play on the main diamond at Marlins Park. Marlins Ayudan team C’Mon Blue, captained by Marlins president Mr. David Samson, participated as base activators, score keepers, catchers and motivators. C’Mon Blue also had help from a few professional baseball players including Mike Dunn, Jarred Cosart, Aaron Crow, and Mat Latos.
The Nine Colts beat the Super Sluggers by just one point (10 – 9) and the Fire Kings scored two more runs than the Beep Ball Badgers (5 – 3). It was a great experience for everyone. It was competitive in the most lighthearted way. “I did it! I can’t believe I did it! I hit the ball and scored,” an elated 7-year-old named Kayden shouted.
This kind of excitement and happiness is what Marlins Ayudan lives for!
The Marlins Foundation was honored to assist Marlins Bullpen Catcher Jeff Urgelles in hosting the second cycle of Compression for Life. In 2013, the Marlins Foundation, in partnership with the American Heart Association of South Florida, developed the Compression for Life program. After Jeff helped to save the life of an Arizona Diamondbacks employee while on the road with the Marlins, the Marlins Foundation honored him with a gift to start his own program geared towards teaching the youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami Dade the importance of hearth health through diet and exercise.
The second cycle of Compression for Life took place at the Boys & Girls Club of Miami Dade – Kendall Campus. Each day of the three day program had a different focus; heart health through nutrition, CPR / AED (Automated External Defibrillators) training and celebrating heart health. On the first day, fitness instruction was provided by Marlins own Strength and Conditioning Coach Ty Hill. The kids worked up a serious sweat going over the 20 minute exercise routines very similar to the ones that Ty facilitates with the Marlins players. Back inside, Jen Llanos shared tidbits about healthy eating, sprinkled in with a Q&A period where participants received Marlins giveaways for giving the best snack choices to eat.
During the second day of the program Jeff was joined by 911 Educational Consultants to instruct the proper CPR techniques and teach the kids how to use safely use an AED.. The next workroom over, Cardiologist Dr. Sizemore joined the kids to share information about why it’s important to stay healthy, sharing large scale models of a heart while the kids enjoyed healthy snacks. At the end of the day’s lesson all 100 kids walked away with their own CPR kits, courtesy of Amerigroup Foundation, so that they may practice CPR skills at home with their families.
The last day of the program was Graduation Day where all of the kids received a certificate for completing Compression for Life. The highlight of the day was a huge celebration party where the kids were joined by Jeff’s special guests, Billy The Marlin, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and Marlins President David Samson. Everyone enjoyed an afternoon of games, bounce houses, healthy snacks and dancing as they celebrated the fact that they are now armed with the tools to be heart healthy.
Special thank you to program sponsors: American Heart Association of South Florida, 911 Educational Consultants, Sergio’s Printing
Did you know? There are 67,000 individuals in Miami Dade County who are blind or visually impaired.
After last season’s inaugural touching tour at Marlins Park, our team President David Samson asked me to schedule him a visit to the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. Today was the day, and we had a lovely morning with Virginia, Carol, and Cameron at MLB (of course Virginia pointed out the MLB connection!) The resources and services they provide our community range from free eyeglasses for children, to life enrichment classes for seniors who recently lost their sight. It’s a wonderful complex filled with kind and caring individuals. The Marlins Foundation looks forward to continuing our partnership with our friends at MLB. Below are some pictures from the visit. Enjoy!
Our team just announced that we have signed Adam Greenberg to a one-day Major League contract. Greenberg will appear with the Marlins on October 2 vs. the Mets at Marlins Park, to record his first official Major League at-bat. Adam made his Major League debut on July 9, 2005 with the Cubs vs. the Marlins but was hit in the back of his head in his only Major League plate appearance. He is currently one of only two players ever to be hit by a pitch in his first-and-only Major League plate appearance and never take the field.
Adam will donate his one-day salary to the Marlins Foundation! We will donate to the Sports Legacy Institute – an organization that advances the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups.
Here’s a shot of Marlins President David Samson and Adam from the Today Show (9/27/12).
“Life’s going to throw you curveballs or a fastball to the back of your head, you know? I got hit by one of them and it knocked me down. I could have stayed there. I had a choice. I could’ve said ‘Poor me. This is horrible.’ But I chose to get up and get back in the box. That’s kind of the message to everyone. No matter what is going on in their own personal life, get back up. Keep going. And if you do that, good things do happen. Sometimes it takes seven years. But you know? Anything is possible and this just shows what’s possible.’’ Adam Greenberg