The purpose of the program is twofold: by partnering with local schools, the league demonstrates to its players the importance of education. In the words of board member Rick Hilton, “Baseball and other team sports are important in the development of our children, but every player should be reminded that school must always come first.”
A secondary goal of the program is to promote the importance of physical education plus individual and team sports in schools. According to board member David Chuey, “Sports in general and team sports specifically teach kids things like communication, teamwork, good sportsmanship, and responsibility – all qualities that aid in their overall physical and educational development.”
Now in its second year, Delta Goes to Bat for Schools encourages schools and their PTA/PTO to get kids involved in baseball, softball and other team and individual sports. A percentage of the fees families pay to play in the Delta Baseball & Softball League are donated back to the school that the player attends. This year, Delta is giving back more than $2,750 to public, charter and private schools in Antioch, Pittsburg, Oakley, Brentwood and Discovery Bay.
Representatives from the three schools with the greatest number of players in the Delta Baseball & Softball League – Diablo Vista Elementary School, Holy Rosary Catholic School and Cornerstone Christian School – have been invited to attend the league’s opening day as honored guests. The event is held March 23 at Freedom High School, where he league will present checks to each of the represented schools as a part of their opening day ceremony.
The Delta Baseball and Softball League, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was founded in 1984 as the Delta Peanut League by a group of like-minded parents seeking an alternative to the high-pressure, high-intensity youth sports leagues available at the time. Though originally serving only 6-8-year-old “peanuts,” the league has grown over the past 30 years to include children from ages 4 to 13, and today offers both non-competitive divisions carrying on the legacy and vision of the league founders, and competitive divisions playing under banner of Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth Softball.
In 2007, the league added the Champ division (formerly Freedom division), in which physically or mentally challenged children learn and play baseball free of charge alongside all the other children in the league.
The league’s mission is to “strive to provide a positive and instructional baseball and softball league for children where the focus is on participation, fundamentals and enjoyment of the game; all in a safe environment where everyone is treated fairly.” To learn more about the Delta Baseball & Softball League, visit www.deltabaseballleague.com or www.facebook.com/deltabaseballandsoftballleague.