• Growing the Game
• Recognizing Cuddy
• Career Fair
• Scary Scamper
• Player Spotlight
• Community Spotlight
November 1 - 155 days until Opening Day at Coors Field November 3 - Arizona Fall League Rising Stars All-Star Game November 8 - "Make An Impact" school visits, Silver Creek Elementary School and Prospect Ridge Academy November 12 - "Make An Impact" school visit, Montessori School of Denver November 17 - Arizona Fall League Championship Game, location TBD November 17 & 18 - Team Smile at the Pepsi Center, helping to provide critical dental care for less-fortunate children November 29 - Vino y Chocolate, a fundraiser at Centro San Juan Diego to support immigrant families
GROWING THE GAME
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program
Reviving baseball in inner cities is a major focus for Major League Baseball and many communities around the world. The primary mission of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program is "to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among under-served youth." Along with helping to spread the game, the RBI Program also looks to "encourage academic participation and achievement, increase number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and minor leagues, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game and teach the value of teamwork." One of the real purposes and benefits of the RBI program are the positive results gained by combating the effects of gangs and drugs in our under-served communities. This is critically important to the teenagers in our region.
There are a host of RBI leagues around the world, including two in Colorado-Denver and Greeley-and foreign countries like Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic, Japan and Puerto Rico and over 200,000 kids participate in the RBI Program in over 200 cities. Rockies have a very successful partnership with Denver Public Schools in administering the RBI Program in Denver, Aurora and Commerce City. As a league-wide Major League Baseball initiative, all clubs are involved in the RBI Program in one form or another and the Rockies have a strong emphasis on promoting the program and youth baseball in Colorado as a whole, annually providing RBI teams with equipment, funding for umpire fees and most of the other costs associated with playing the game of baseball. Altogether, MLB and its clubs have designated over $30,000,000 in various resources over the years. For more information on one of the Rockies' RBI Program stars, read this month's Community Spotlight below.
But the RBI Program is not just a charitable cause; it also helps to develop high quality players. Current Major League players who once participated in the RBI Program include Carl Crawford of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Coco Crisp of the Oakland A's, James Loney of the Boston Red Sox, Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies, CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers, Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks and James McDonald of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Each year, the RBI calendar culminates with the RBI World Series, featuring the top two teams from RBI leagues around the world.
The Rockies are proud of their longstanding support of the RBI Program here in Colorado and look forward to more years of partnership.
2012 Roberto Clemente Award
Every year, Major League Baseball clubs come together to honor the memory of Roberto Clemente through the Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Chevrolet. Designed to remember the impact of Clemente as both a humanitarian and ballplayer, the Roberto Clemente Award honors current players who do great work in the community, following the model Clemente had set in his lifetime.
This year, the Rockies nominated outfield Michael Cuddyer for the Roberto Clemente Award. After spending his entire career in the Minnesota Twins organization, Cuddyer came to the Rockies in 2012 and continued his outstanding community outreach. Cuddyer's community work, both in Minnesota and Colorado, includes both time investment and monetary contributions. Cuddyer has long been active with Boys & Girls Clubs and he founded his own ticket program called "Cuddy's Buddies." Cuddy purchased a suite at Coors Field to treat local families to a special night at a Rockies game and in July, he and a number of Rockies players spent time with families and victims of the Aurora theater shooting.
One player from each Major League club is nominated for the award and receives a donation to a charity of their choice on behalf of Chevrolet. For his charity, Cuddyer chose to have Chevy make a donation to giveSPORTS, A Precious Child charity, an organization supported by Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist who passed away in the Aurora theater shooting. Vote for Michael Cuddyer
Cuddyer is, and has long been, a model professional, both on and off the field.
PROVIDING INSIGHT, GIVING DIRECTION
Denver Public Schools 8th Grade Career Fair
On Wednesday, October 10, the Rockies participated in the Denver Public Schools 8th Grade Career Fair at the National Western Complex in Denver. Along with other local business and schools, the Rockies set up a booth where students were encouraged to visit to learn about careers in sports and the importance of education. Rockies staff also made sure to express the importance of hard work, staying focused and planning ahead to achieve goals.
While many middle school students are Rockies fans who enjoy watching the players on the field, students were exposed to all of the lesser known facets of the organization and the careers that exist within a sports organization, such as marketing, advertising, finance, public relations, engineering, community relations and more.
Scream Scram 5K Run / Walk
On Friday, October 19, the Rockies participated in the annual Scream Scram 5K Halloween Run/Walk at Washington Park in Denver, benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. Another way for the Rockies to strengthen their partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs and run for a good cause, the Scream Scram is a fun run where participants are encouraged to dress up in Halloween costumes. Thousands of racers turned out to run and with some of the unique and creative costumes on display, it was quite the event!
Acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in December 2011, infielder DJ LeMahieu performed well for the Rockies last season, taking full advantage of quality playing time in the second half of the season.
LeMahieu (LA-MAY-U) hit .297 with 12 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 22 RBI in 81 games in his first season with the Rockies. LeMahieu, who saw most of his playing time at second base, also finished 2012 with a .994 fielding percentage and 204 assists. LeMahieu, in fact, tied a Major League record on August 28, 2012, by registering 12 defensive assists in a nine-inning game, tying Harold Reynolds' standing record from 1986.
After his impressive debut season in Colorado, the 24-year-old Visalia, Calif., native has certainly earned himself an extended look going forward.
In youth sports, coaches have the ability to shape the lives of the young people they coach. Ernesto Marquez is one such coach.
The winner of the 2012 Colorado Rockies Hispanic Adult Leadership Award, Ernesto spends countless hours outside of his full-time job as a field auditor for Pinnacol Assurance, working with the youth of North High School, a school with a dropout rate of nearly 70%. While the official baseball season is in the spring, "Coach Nesto" goes above and beyond his responsibilities as a coach and works year-round with students, providing them the coaching necessary to achieve their goals both on and off the field. He works hard to fundraise for his baseball program, making sure his players are "hands-on" to earn money they need for the program to continue, rather than simply accepting handouts. He cuts the grass of the high school baseball field, maintains the facility and even paints the concessions stand. He does everything that's needed to keep North's baseball program afloat so that kids have the opportunity to play baseball.
But it's not just about his role with the program or coaching baseball; it is life coaching. Coach Nesto is active in helping all of his players with ACT prep courses, FAFSA applications, personal recommendations and, when necessary, accompanying them on college visits. He is a role model and mentor for players who come from difficult family situations. He makes sure they stay out of trouble, resist the temptations of teenage life and stay on the right path to achieve their goals. As an alum of North High School himself, Coach Nesto is there for whatever his players need.
Ernesto is also heavily involved in the Rockies RBI Program and has participated with North High School at various RBI events over the years, always a standout in terms of the care he takes with his players.