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General  | Press Release  | 3/9/2022

PG Cares and Partners Outfit HS Baseball Team

Sydney Ford     
Photo: Perfect Game Cares Foundation
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- As part of its Grow the Game Fund, the Perfect Game Cares Foundation is committed to increasing access to baseball and softball for underserved and minority players. After learning from a local parent, Ashley Anderson Wickersham, PG Cares realized the need at RB Stall High School in North Charleston, South Carolina. PG Cares and its partners immediately sprang into action.

PHOTO: Members of the RB Stall HS baseball team pose for a team photo

“The greatest gift to give a child is to teach them responsibility and to support them through love and kindness,” Wickersham said. “Being a part of the family that baseball creates is a magical thing for children of all backgrounds, but for these sweet boys specifically, it is life changing. I couldn’t be more appreciative of all the love and support they are receiving.”
RB Stall High School had not had a baseball program in a few years due to lack of funding and coaching. AJ Krakower, father of four, teacher and former assistant coach in the Canes organization, heard that Stall didn’t have a baseball team, and decided he would do whatever it takes to rebuild a program for the kids that needed it the most.

“It’s hard to build a culture or family environment when a program is just coming to life,” Krakower said. “As a new head coach at the varsity level, the Perfect Game Cares Foundation gave me the building blocks to create what I wanted to at Stall. I am thankful for PG Cares believing in our program and showing our kids that others care just as much as I do.” Krakower promised his team that if they worked hard on and off the diamond, he would enter them into a Perfect Game tournament this summer. The players have completely bought into the structure of the program and have formed a real brotherhood among one another.

"This is just another example of growing the game one project at a time,” said Perfect Game Founder and President Jerry Ford. “None of this is possible without people in the community that truly care about baseball and helping young kids. Coach AJ Krakower deserves so much credit for his selfless efforts to give these deserving players an opportunity. It is great to know there are people out there like him."

Within just a few weeks, Coach Krakower gathered 20 of the school’s best athletes, many of whom had never played baseball before. Krakower provided the players hope and Perfect Game Cares knew it needed to provide the resources and opportunity. With just a few phone calls, PG Cares was able to gather the support of its partners Perfect Game, Augusta Sportswear, Rawlings, Oakley, New Balance, ISlide and G-Form to completely outfit the team in new uniforms and gear for the upcoming season. The kids received everything head to toe including equipment for the team.

“We couldn’t be more proud to partner with PG Cares to provide Coach Krakower and the RB Stall High School baseball team with their inaugural uniforms,” said Augusta Sportswear Brands’ Chief Commercial Officer Derek Ernst.  “People like Coach Krakower are true difference makers in our industry – they understand the value of youth sports and its potential to build people and change lives.  We’re truly honored to be part of that experience.”

“The world of baseball provides a unique opportunity for youth to be an integral part of the community. At Oakley, we want to provide communities across the country with the ability to play sports and inspire athletes of all ages,” says Cindy King, Vice President, Oakley North America. “Providing access to eyewear with Oakley Prizm Technology gives youth an advantage to see better, perform better and truly inspire them to Be Who You Are.”

PHOTO: Oakley provided players at RB Stall HS with new eyewear

PG Cares surprised the Stall baseball team with their new gear on Wednesday, March 2. Players then got the opportunity to practice with MLB alumni Tom “Flash” Gordon, Luis Gonzalez and Charles Johnson and PG’s Vice President of International Development and MLB alum Ben Ford, 23x Softball World Champion Jeff Hall and long-time scout David Rawnsley.

The players had an incredible evening working with the MLB alumni and PG staff. “Experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk and practice one-on-one with retired MLB stars is a memory that will never be forgotten,” Stall player Cameron Dawson said. So much was learned in that short period of time.”

Another player, Derome Brooks expressed his gratitude. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Brooks said. “I truly appreciate everyone that is supporting and believing in us as a team and a family.”

“As soon as we heard about the financial situation of the newly reformed baseball program, we knew we had to act to support these amazing kids,” said Perfect Game Cares Foundation’s Executive Director Jennifer Ford. “Through our Grow the Game Fund, the incredibly kind support of our PG partners and part of our PG Cares Caravan team, we were proud to help these deserving boys get an incredible start to their season. When likeminded groups of people come together, sustainable hope and opportunity is possible. We cannot wait to follow the Warriors’ team journey.”

To learn more about the Perfect Game Cares Foundation’s Grow the Game Fund and how you can help, please visit the Perfect Game Cares Foundation website.

PHOTO: Members of the RB Stall HS baseball team pose for a team photo