The entire Dutchmen team lended a hand at the STRIDE 5K
The Albany Dutchmen pride themselves on playing great baseball and winning games, but they also pride themselves on giving back to the community that they call home for the summer. Playing six to seven baseball games a week, most would think that baseball was all players had time for, but that is not the case with the Albany Dutchmen team. As the Dutchmen approach their fourth week of the season, not only are they entrenched in league play, but they are also making time to give back to the local community.
Dutchmen players have contributed their time and baseball expertise to three baseball clinics so far this season. At Jaime M. Adams Field in Rensselaer, NY, Dutchmen players worked with the Challenger’s Little League, a league that provides a full-service athletic home for the Capital Region’s special needs-athletes. Here, the players worked with special needs-athletes giving them basic instruction on fielding, catching and throwing. The Dutchmen also put on a two hour clinic Guilderland Little League in Guilderland, NY. They worked kids on improving their fundamental skills on ground balls, pop flies, base running, bunting, and even did an egg toss to work on the technique of having soft hands. The third clinic was held at their home field, Bellizzi Stadium. The CDTA sponsored clinic was held for young children from all over the City of Albany. The Dutchmen worked with the youth on ground balls, proper throwing techniques and base running with kids of all ability levels, from beginners to all stars.
Other community service events that Albany Dutchmen players have volunteered at include the Strides 5k Run/Walk and the Capital District Soap Box Derby. The entire Dutchmen team showed up last Saturday morning to give their support for the Stride for Strides 5k Run/Walk. The annual event (which the Dutchmen have been involved with since its inception) is organized to raise money for STRIDE Adaptive Sports, which is a “volunteer, non-profit organization that provides over 8,000 adaptive sport and recreation lessons to individuals with disabilities”. At the event, Dutchmen players, coaches, staff, and Dutchmen mascot Benny contributed by helping turn wheel chairs and hand cycles, handing out water, preparing bananas and oranges for the runners, and most of all, lined the course to encourage and cheer on the participants of the race. During the Soap Box Derby, the players helped the children racers move their cars from the track, change the wheels, and lend their support and encouragement.
Another event the Dutchmen were involved in was the Strawberry Festival that took place in Schenectady. They set up shop outside of Phillips Hardware and the players interacted with kids, teens, and adults by walking around the festival and telling them about the team. Benny the Mascot was also on site giving children hugs, high-fives, and taking pictures.
This summer, the Albany Dutchmen will provide over 700 hours of community service in about a two-month span. They believe that giving back to the community that supports them year-in and year-out, will not only better the community, but also build character, leadership and a bond between the players and their fans.