I’m just going to throw it out there: I hate baseball. I don’t enjoy watching it. I don’t mind playing, but really, I only like to hit the ball. No fielding for me. Boooorrring. So when I caught wind of a recent wager made between the mayors of this year’s World Series teams -Mayor Bloomberg for the New York Yankees and Mayor Michael A. Nutter for the Philadelphia Phillies- I let out a big sigh. Torn between my love for volunteerism and my hatred of the sport, I had to decide: do I write about it, or do I remain happily ignorant of all things baseball. Obviously, I chose the former….
According to a press release from the Mayor’s office, “the losing mayor will travel to the winning city to join the winning mayor in a volunteer service project, while wearing a jersey from the winning team. In addition, the losing Mayor will cater lunch from a local establishment for the volunteers working with the winning Mayor. Win or lose, Mayor Bloomberg will be joining Publicolor to work with students painting open spaces at I.S. 131, the Albert Einstein School in the Bronx, and Mayor Nutter will be joining the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to paint a mural on the side of a Philadelphia recreation center.” In addition, Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced that the entire Series has been dedicated to community service as a part of the MLB’s “Going Beyond” initiative, which supports programs for veterans, cancer research and youth development.
Publicolor, a partner of the Mayor’s NYC Service initiative, is a nonprofit organization that engages disaffected youth and encourages them to work together to improve their learning environments by adding color to the drab hallways and classrooms that often exist in NY public schools. The hope is that this will not only keep them off the streets and out of trouble, but the program will also teach them a marketable skill that they can use to increase their chances of a better future. They have a slew of workshops and programs for the teens involved, as well as various volunteer activities, which you can read about by clicking here.
I think this is great, that both Mayors are choosing to bet their time rather than eating cheesesteaks and cheesecakes together. Enriching the lives of children instead of feasting on rich and cheesy treats (more for me). Following a week of prime-time TV volunteerism through iParticipate, this wager should continue to push the call for a national service movement full steam ahead; afterall, I may hate baseball but I’m well aware that I’m not in the majority for that. Lots of people are watching this series- at least 1,000. Maybe more, right?
For me, it adds a few inches of depth to an otherwise flat-lined sport.
So, I guess baseball isn’t all bad. For now…
For the full press release, click here.