Every year, Major League Baseball chooses a different stadium and city to host its All-Star Game and all of the events leading up to it. In 2013, the New York Mets were chosen as hosts, which meant that everything took place in New York City. From July 12-16, the Jacob Javits Center was transformed into a baseball mecca for T-Mobile’s All-Star Fan Fest.
As avid baseball (and Mets!) fans, Xi Xi Chapter President, Rosalie and I decided to give back to the community by offering our volunteer services at this event. This actually took some work; we had to apply through Major League Baseball, clear a background check, and attend two training sessions prior to being able to participate. The process took about 6 months to complete!
Once we were at Fan Fest, the enormity of the event really hit home. There were volunteers everywhere – putting together informational packets, greeting attendees, assisting at clinics, managing the crowds – and that was nothing compared to the amount of people in attendance. One of the highlights of our volunteering was working a base stealing clinic. We were in charge of resetting the mats and bases as the kids learned the proper mechanics of stealing, from how to take a lead to safe sliding.
We also had the opportunity to meet some women from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) – the real life inspiration for the movie A League of Their Own. Maybelle Blair and Isabel Alvarez were so full of energy and they loved the time they had spent in the AAGPBL. They were a true inspiration to not only follow your dreams, but to push for them even harder when there are others claiming that it can’t be done. It was such an honor to meet these women and hear their stories!
Overall, our extended weekend of volunteering was a whirlwind of kids, history, and a shared love for America’s pastime. It was great to be able to give back to the community in a way that will be remembered by all of those in attendance.