There is always a need for a miracle.
Baseball Miracles combines baseball, devotion, community service and sociability into one fantastic mission to impact young lives through sport.
The co-founder of this ministry, John “JT” Tumminia started scouting for the Chicago White Sox in 1987 and is enshrined in the Diamond Mines Baseball Scouting Hall of Fame.
He began as an area scout, then a cross-checker and served 32 years, all with the Chicago White Sox. In 2002, he was voted the Scout of the Year for the White Sox.
His proudest moment came in 2005, when he earned a World Series ring when the White Sox won the World Series.
But he felt the need to do more for Christ and believes God directs everything in life.
“How we should serve fellow man through baseball is what inspired this,” JT said. “And through baseball and through Baseball Miracles, what we are doing, is serving Him.”
Baseball Miracles, Inc. is a team of volunteer instructors across the baseball community whose mission is to serve others through the game. At no cost, it provides instruction, gloves, bats, hats, shirts, and memories. They strive to reach out especially to the youth who have never played the game and live in disadvantaged parts of the world.
They use baseball as a tool to present the Gospel to kids who need encouragement and hope.
That is what convinced Clint Hurdle to get involved.
Clint just retired from his post as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates and supports the cause and serves on the board of advisors.
“It was a God-wink for me because it’s reaching out to underprivileged kids both home and abroad,” he said. “I have a heart for that type of mission. Baseball Miracles will go where a lot of others won’t, and they do it with baseball.”
The core goals are to:
· Maintain Unity
· Display Leadership and Initiative
· Demonstrate Charity
And they use four pillars to hit those goals.
A mission trip for Baseball Miracles is a full operation representing the four pillars: Baseball Instructs, Devotion, Community Service and Sociability. On each trip, they visit a deserving community where they teach the children who live there the game of baseball in the spirit of serving the Creator and fellow man. This takes form through clinics and time spent with those in the community.
They teach the game on the diamond while demonstrating the love of God at the same time.
“We care about them and the smiles that are put on the faces are everlasting,” Clint added. “People come and watch the camps, Moms and Dads come and kids come from orphanages. The entire message is wrapped up in one big package of sharing God through the game of baseball. Everything is bundled up in a nice ribbon of faith.”
What happens on a mission trip?
When kids arrive, they get a Baseball Miracle t-shirt and glove (for some their first ever) and other gear. All of the gloves and equipment are donated.
After they learn the basics of baseball, the kids take part in a baseball classic meal —hot dogs, French fries and other ballpark favorites. Each participant is also given a customized baseball card.
Baseball Miracles is still young but making an impact throughout the world.
More than 15 mission trips have been completed with more than 2,500 children served and impacted in about 10 different countries. And it’s only going to get bigger.
“It’s about the ability to serve fellow man and in most cases, people who have nothing,” JT said. “We have been blessed to be in so many countries in a short amount of time.”
What kid doesn’t want a free glove, a t-shirt and a baseball? And what child doesn’t want hope?
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.