It is not only a field of dreams, but one of hope, prayer and hometown pride.
After two months of consistent growth in attendance, the final Soulful Softball Sundays of the summer is set to take place this weekend, wrapping up a successful inaugural year that brought community members together with the common goal of creating unity against violence in Richmond. Games are meant to unite the community in a positive, fun and active way and to educate residents on issues such as, health, education and wellness.
For the final Sunday, with games as usual beginning at 2 p.m., hundreds of backpacks will be given out for area children headed back to school, thanks to a dozen donors, and 80 Richmond Proud baseball shirts donated by Chevron Richmond will be distributed for free on a first come, first served basis. In addition, Richmond native Pete Yates of the famed R&B group Yates Brothers & Sisters is set to attend as special guest, and also free horseback rides will be offered.
All members of the community are invited regardless of their softball skill level. The only request is that participants bring along a soul food dish to share.
Presented by The Sons of Issachar, Soulful Softball Sundays was launched in July in reaction to a sharp increase in gang violence and homicides in the first half of the year, including the fatal shooting of Fontino Hardy Jr., a Tennessee State University graduate and beloved community member.
The events have been a home run all summer, attracting a wide variety of local residents and donors as well as support from Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia’s office, Richmond Vice Mayor Jael Myrick and Mayor Tom Butt’s office.
Former Oakland A’s pitcher Mike Norris has acted as the commissioner this summer as part of his personal crusade to return baseball to local communities.
Rodney Alamo Brown and Antwon Cloird, community advocates and organizers, shared a heartfelt thank you this week with the Richmond community and all the donors who made the softball outings possible (see graphic below).
Donors include Pamela L. Jones, DBA Sports, Attorney at Law, Lisa Leslie Attorney at Law,Golden Gate Meat Company Jimmy Z, 44 Restaurant Mark Anthony Jones, Tiffany Shields, Ramonn Smith, The GOD Father & Sims Metal, Men and Women of Purpose,Bill @Green Remedy,Channel Lumber, Kind Bars, Davenport Security, Calvin Andrews N.G.Roadrunners M.C. of Richmond, D.J. Gen Vegas AKA Kim Jones, Chevron Richmond community engagement manager Andrea Bailey, and The Sons of Issachar.