PHILADELPHIA -- Shane Victorino walked around the exterior of the Nicetown Boys & Girls Club brainstorming ideas for renovations. Victorino had heard the building was in need of repair. He didn't realize how much.
"I'm already asking too many questions, I think," Victorino said. "I feel like I want to have a major impact. I'm not going to just grant money and not put in my influence and my understanding of what I want."
The Phillies outfielder completed step one already -- on June 7, Victorino donated $900,000 to the Nicetown Boys & Girls Club chapter in northwest Philadelphia in order to renovate and rebuild what once was a focal point of the neighborhood's youth services.
It was the first pledge on behalf of the newly created Shane Victorino Foundation, established to promote opportunities for underserved youth in Philadelphia and his homeland Hawaii. On Monday, Victorino toured the facility that the money will go toward rebuilding.
Located across West Hunting Park Avenue from Simon Gratz High School, the Nicetown Boys & Girls Club was established in 1892 (it is the second-oldest club in Philadelphia). But in recent years, the club has fallen under disrepair and in need of upgrading. Victorino contacted the Boys & Girls Club of America to find out what places in Philadelphia most needed attention. He was steered toward Nicetown.
"I'm excited to be here," Victorino said. "I wanted to look at the facility. I didn't realize the condition that it was in -- I expected a little more than what it was. Now I really get to understand what an impact this is going to make on the community."
As Victorino walked around, led by a group of those who will be running the renovations, he envisioned what the building may look like once construction is complete. It is currently a three-story building with reading rooms, classrooms, a kitchen, a large recreational room and an indoor basketball court, along with a yard behind it and a baseball diamond across the street.
"I can understand the way the facility is, a lot of kids get turned away or go elsewhere," Victorino said. "I think once we get this place done and renovated and bring it up to par, I think, 'Why not come here?'"
For Victorino, reconstruction of the Nicetown Club is a hands-on project he says will hopefully be the first of many. He wants to next help the Boys & Girls Club of Maui, Hawaii, where he grew up, possibly renovating the very club he used to visit when he was a kid.
"I used to go and I felt like it gave me somewhere to go after school," Victorino said. "That's why I chose this program.
"I understand that places like this need this uplifting," Victorino said. "Something like this can turn the community around. It can give these kids somewhere to go, give them some kind of structure and an understanding of what there is in life."
"I hope so, too," Victorino said.
"You know why I'm here?" Victorino asked the kids. "It's for you. So you have a place to come, a beautiful place. I think it's going to be a beautiful facility."
Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.