Diamonds & Dreams and I #PlayCatch with the Waipio Little League

Baseball wasn’t my first love but it became my biggest love after I attended the Little League World Series last year. It’s the one sport where I still see pure joy on children’s faces.

The drama and selfishness of professional athletes can be extremely draining and off-putting. The constant stories of corruption and scandal in college athletics is disillusioning and despairing. Even high school basketball has become a commercialized product.

But Little League baseball washes all the dirt and grime away. Of course the LLWS is not without their own cheating scandals, but to me, it’s the closest thing to innocence.

I had the experience of a lifetime watching the Waipio Little League win the U.S. Championship last year. Ezra Heleski, the lefty who threw a complete game shutout, had a tremendous day on the mound. I got the chance to meet Ezra’s mother, Grace, and his grandparents. The kindness and generosity that the Heleski family showed me will always stay with me. (You can read the entire story here.)

When the Diamonds & Dreams charity contacted me to ask if I would partner with them in a giveaway, I immediately agreed; I had to choose an organization that would receive up to 100 free baseballs. Of course I chose the Waipio Little League; the organization is close to my heart and represents a big piece of home.

In order to earn them baseballs, I must #playcatch with my followers on Twitter for one day. For every retweet, the Waipio Little League will get one baseball.

Diamonds & Dreams is making this possible with sponsorship from Chevrolet in cooperation with MLB. The program provides 100 baseball prizes, including field makeovers, clinics, and equipment packages for youth baseball communities across America.

Anyone can enter for a chance to win their community one of the 100 prizes. You can get more information at You can even win a trip for four to the MLB 2011 All-Star Game or a new Chevrolet.

Check out the incredibly inspirational videos below about how Diamonds & Dreams has changed lives and touched communities all across the nation.

I am glad that Diamonds & Dreams and Chevrolet asked me to take part in such a great cause. I hope the Waipio little leaguers enjoy their new baseballs! Now, let’s #playcatch!

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