Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH

"Where baseball stars raised $1 million to help inner city kids"

Jason Kipnis, Indians second baseman, signs autographs for kids from the Miracle League of Northeast Ohio, an organization that serves children and adults who suffer from any physical or mental disabilities, which causes them to be excluded, whether intentionally or not, from conventional baseball leagues. (Credit: Joel Hammond)

Terry Francona, manager of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was upset when he heard kids were getting hurt or put at risk during recent events involving youth violence. He lead an initiative to raise $1 million last fall to help fight youth violence in Cleveland by gathering coaches, players, and staff together.

Grants from the Larry Doby Youth Fund, named after the American League’s first black player for the Indians in 1947, were distributed to 18 area nonprofits whose goal is to curb violence among city children.

Indians players, in addition to funding the Larry Doby Youth Fund, also participate in a number of other community activities such as Lonnie’s Lineup where Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians outfielder, and his wife Meredith, host families from the Salvation Army during batting practice during Tuesday home games.

Throughout the season, Corey Kluber, Indians pitcher, and his wife Amanda visit the Cleveland VA Medical Center to honor and show support to local veterans. This year, the Klubers will meet with various PTSD patients and similar veteran groups to support them through their treatment process. And for the fourth year, Terry Francona and WTAM radio station will also team up with the Cleveland VA Medical Center to provide Club Lounge tickets to select military veterans and their families every Sunday home game. The veterans will receive Indians-branded military caps and T-shirts, as well as an in-game scoreboard message.

Excited Miracle League fans meet their baseball idols. (Credit: Joel Hammond)

Edwin Encarnacion’s Squad

Indians designated hitter and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion will host a patient from Cleveland Clinic Children’s hospital and his or her family on select Thursday home games. Also joining will be a Cleveland Clinic high school scholar as part of Cleveland Clinic’s education programming. Guests will watch batting practice on the field, take pictures with Edwin and watch the game from the Club Lounge. The patient will also receive an Encarnacion jersey.

Indians players, Edwin Encarnacion and Andrew Miller, talk with families from the Salvation Army. (Credit: Joel Hammond)