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Mitzvah Projects to Help Pitch Baseball Worldwide
At the Ambler-based office of Pitch In for Baseball, David Rhode helps bring the joys of America's pastime to children around the world. As executive director of the organization, he leads the effort to send new and gently-used baseball equipment to youth leagues, both in the United States and internationally.
And now, local Jewish children will be getting involved as part of their mitzvah projects, working to send gloves, bats, balls and other necessary supplies to Israeli teams.
"That's something we envisioned from the beginning when we put this charity together," said Rhode.
The interest in baseball will likely grow there, he noted, with the introduction of the Israel Baseball League this past June -- the country's first professional organization devoted to the sport.
"Baseball is going to have a strong influx of energy and attention," said Rhode, referring to youngsters in the Jewish state.
In its inaugural year, Pitch In for Baseball has completed 24 projects, sending equipment to youth baseball leagues hurt by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, and worldwide to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ghana, Ukraine and Poland.
Rhode said that equipment that has either been outgrown or cast aside can still be used to assist young athletes just getting involved in the game.
"Something sitting in someone's garage," suggested Rhode, "can bring joy to another family if it gets into the right hands."