Redbird Rookies program allows inner city kids to play ball with - KMOV.com

Redbird Rookies program allows inner city kids to play ball with Big Brothers Big Sisters

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Through their Cardinals Care program, the St. Louis Cardinals give children the opportunity to hit the field and make friends.

“I learned how to pitch,” former Redbird Denitra Like said. “I was really excited about it, and I did get excited when we practiced and I threw the ball.”

The Cardinals partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters allowed Like to hit a home run in the game of life and learning.

“Denitra does better at not letting the small things upset her,” said Doris Elise Mann, with Big Brothers Big Sisters. “She handles adversity a lot better than I have. We’re prefect.”

It was also a perfect opportunity for Like to try something new, in the form of the Redbird Rookies program, three years ago. The program allows inner city kids the chance to join a free youth baseball league.

The Cardinals teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters about 10 years ago to ensure they get to play ball with a big brother or big sister.

According to the president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, the Cardinals have figured out a winning recipe for success when it comes to making a positive influence on their little rookies.

“If we want great grownups in this region to be highly positive, we will just have to change the way the kids grow up and that’s the big investment of Redbird Rookies,” said Becky James Hatter, of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

After kids leave the Redbird Rookies program, Cardinals Care continues to help finance the little, big matches of the kids.

If you are interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, click here.

Cardinals Care will be holding a 6K race on Sunday, September 13.

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