OAKLAND -- The A's Community Fund has long invested in the Bay Area's future, supporting this mission through several programs and donations that particularly focus on the community's youth.
Youth baseball is very much alive in the Bay, and the A's are doing their part to sustain its growth. Each Sunday home game, the A's select a youth baseball or softball team to join Oakland's players on the field during the national anthem, with each participant receiving an autographed baseball as a souvenir for the unique experience.
The giving goes well beyond that. The A's and PG&E have partnered with Good Tidings Foundation in recent years to refurbish local sports fields. Last year, both Del Mar High School in San Jose and Martin Luther King Jr. Park Baseball Field in Richmond enjoyed upgrades to their ball fields courtesy of the A's and their partners.
The MLK Jr. baseball field's renovation is part of a multiphase project to revitalize the entire park.
The A's have already offered the same gift to another two programs this year: Hayward High School and the San Lorenzo Little League. At Hayward High, the varsity team is enjoying a new infield, newly laid sod and new backstop boards.
Back at the Coliseum, the A's also have a pair of Little League Days each season, during which participants are invited for a pregame tailgate event and a parade around the field while being greeted by Oakland's players. They also receive A's items to take home.
Moreover, A's coaches host two clinics each year for Little Leaguers, and the club's trainers put on a Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth clinic.
The A's Community Fund also proudly supports the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association that awards grants to organizations involved in the operation of youth baseball and softball programs and facilities.
In 2014, the A's recipient was the Oakland Babe Ruth Little League, which was assisted in the purchase of equipment for its many teams.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.