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TPRD, Roberto Clemente Foundation team up for equipment drive

Published 10:20pm Monday, October 29, 2012

The Troy Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with the Roberto Clemente Foundation to grow the games of baseball and softball in some Caribbean nations.

Dan Smith, the director of Troy Parks and Recreation, said that the department is gathering equipment to send to the poorer countries.

“David Dickey, the director of youth sports, went through our equipment and discovered that a bunch of it was out of date,” said Smith. “While the gear would be out of date for our use, it would be put to great use down there.”

The Roberto Clemente Foundation was founded by the Clemente family to help disadvantaged youth. The Clemente family also supports a sports complex in Puerto Rico that teaches hundreds of thousands of youths every year.

Smith said that the recreation department is donating equipment to the cause, but that the support shouldn’t stop there.

“We are asking anyone who has gear that they don’t use anymore to donate it to the drive.” said Smith. “They have need for balls, bats, batting helmets and other things. We are going to help them out.”

Former Major League Baseball player, and Troy native, Brian Meadows is planning on contributing some of his gear as well.

“I have a bunch of old spikes, running shoes and stuff that i can’t use anymore,” said Meadows. “From what I know, the donation is going to the Dominican, which is a poorer nation.”

The donation takes on a special meaning to Meadows.

Meadows played four seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team Clemente was a part of for 17 seasons.

“When Mr. Dan told me that they were getting together with the Roberto Clemente Foundation, I was kind of taken back,” said Meadows. “I still know a lot of people from my time there and like to help anyway I can. I have a lot of respect for what Roberto did during and after his playing days.”

The equipment drive will end November 7, as the shipment is scheduled to leave soon.

Anyone can donate to the drive by simply dropping off old equipment at the Troy Parks and Recreation Department on Enzor Road in Troy.

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