Span serves coffee to raise funds for his foundation

Span serves coffee to raise funds for his foundation

WASHINGTON -- Hours before Denard Span extended his on-base streak to 23 games with a leadoff single on Friday night, the Nationals' center fielder padded his resume for a potential career after baseball.

If Span chooses to become a barista after his playing days are over, it would surely turn more than a few heads. But on Friday morning, the eight-year veteran spent the better part of an hour behind the counter of a Peet's Coffee in D.C., in a fundraising effort for the Denard Span Foundation.

The event started with him preparing decafs and lattes for the hundreds of fans who lined the city blocks. But soon enough, it turned into an autograph session.

"I think meeting the fans and them getting closer to me and seeing my personality, seeing me outside of my element or them sitting in the stands and watching me at work [is great]," Span said, speaking about his favorite part of meeting fans off the field. "I think for ... them to see I'm an everyday type of person, that I'm not different than they are, [is important]."

The Denard Span Foundation, which is in its first year of existence, is dedicated to supporting single-parent homes, like the one Span was raised in by his mother, Wanda Wilson. Twenty-seven percent of family households in America have a single parent, according to the foundation's website.

Peet's Coffee donated $2,500 to the foundation at the event, which was the first for the organization in the D.C. area.

Span will host the first Back to School Bash in August, when he will collect and donate school supplies to children raised in single-family households.

"I always told myself when I got in a position to help, that's what I wanted to do," Span said. "I wanted to help people that I could relate to, something that when I'm talking to these families and these kids, I'm talking from my heart. I might not have grown up [in a situation] as bad as some of these other families, but I can still relate to coming from [a home with] one parent and seeing one parent struggle."

Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.