Rangers Baseball Foundation giving back to community

Rangers Baseball Foundation giving back to community

ARLINGTON -- Beyond Fan Fest, which was held last Saturday at Globe Life Park, the Rangers continue to be busy this month through a number of notable endeavors in conjunction with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Major League Baseball.

The Foundation has been especially busy this month in helping youth baseball and softball programs in Texas and surrounding states. The Foundation gave a $10,000 grant to Blooming Grove High School on Jan. 12 to go toward new scoreboards for the local community.

The Rangers donate $10,000 to Blooming Grove High. (Courtesy Texas Rangers)

The Rangers were in Wolfe City a day later to give a $5,000 grant to the United Way of Hunt County for improvements and equipment for youth baseball fields. They presented a $10,000 check on Jan. 18 for the expansion of the Oak Cliff Angels baseball team in Dallas. This past Monday, the Rangers were in Nacogdoches to deliver a $10,000 grant to the city's Youth Softball Association.

The Rangers will be in Fort Worth on Friday to present $5,000 to the Metropolitan YMCA for lighting enhancements to their youth and T-ball fields, and $5,000 to the Kirkpatrick Middle School baseball program.

On Feb. 3, the Rangers will visit the West Texas towns of Ira and Cisco. The Rangers are donating $3,000 to fund the Ira Independent School District baseball program and $10,000 to Cisco High School to upgrade and expand its baseball facilities.

Grant presentations still to be scheduled are $10,000 to the Arkadelphia (Ark.) Baseball Commission for its high school baseball and softball programs, and $5,000 to the Special Olympics of Louisiana.

Other notable endeavors: Former Rangers pitcher Darren Oliver, now a special assistant with the club, was among those who participated in the inaugural Dream Series, which was held from Jan. 12-16 at Tempe (Ariz.) Diablo Complex, the Spring Training home of the Angels.

Former Rangers pitchers Dave Stewart and Ken Hill, as well as youth coordinator Homer Bush, also served as coaches at a special event to provide exposure and development opportunities for a diverse group of high school baseball pitchers and catchers from around the United States. The Dream Series is the first event in a chain of diversity-focused amateur development camps in 2017, joining the returning Breakthrough Series and Elite Development Invitational, which are primarily designed to serve minority high school players throughout the country.

Three local prospects from North Texas participated in the event, including left-hander Daniel Martinez from Irving High School who is also a member of the Texas Rangers Baseball Youth Academy. The others were catcher Cameron Constantine of McKinney North High and right-hander Will Duncan from Richardson High.

Former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez is in Puerto Rico this week as part of the celebration in his homeland on being elected to the Hall of Fame. On Wednesday, Rodriguez is visiting the San Jorge Children's Hospital and conducting a clinic for underprivileged youngsters prior to the Caguas Criollos' home Roberto Clemente Winter League postseason game with Santurce. On Thursday, he will participate in a clinic in his hometown of Vega Baja and will continue with several appearances in Vega Baja and San Juan on Friday.

Rangers radio broadcaster Eric Nadel is hosting a benefit concert this Saturday for Dallas-based Focus on Teens.

Josh Weathers and The True Endeavors, Daphne Willis and Fort Worth band The Hendersons will headline the Benefit Blowout for Homeless Teens to be held at Shipping and Receiving, a live music venue at 201 S. Calhoun St. in Fort Worth.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the evening begins with a silent auction featuring autographed sports memorabilia, gift cards from local restaurants, exquisite apparel, accessories and more. For tickets log on to prekindle.com.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.