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Longoria's Hitting Helps Florida Little League

Longoria's Hitting Helps Florida Little League

Every kid deserves the chance to throw a baseball and swing a bat, no matter what part of town they grow up in. Unfortunately, budgetary restrictions for some Little Leagues make it difficult to provide the necessary resources for the kids who are willing to play.

That is why so many youth baseball leagues depend not only on the time spent by dedicated volunteers, but the generous donations of thoughtful sponsors as well.

In 2012, Evan Longoria teamed up with Red Bull to raise money for the Belmont Heights Little League outside of Tampa, Florida. With the help of his corporate sponsor, the third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays pledged to donate $1,000 for every home run as well as $500 for every RBI during the 2012 season.

After a successful season for Longoria, the Little Leaguers of Belmont Heights are about to have a successful season of their own. In total, Longoria earned the $80,000 for the Florida youth baseball program. On top of that, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County each made additional sizable donations to the cause, totaling $150,000 for the improvement of the Belmont Heights and Cross Bayou Little League programs and facilities.

For the past several decades, Little League Baseball has provided a valuable outlet for the youth of the city. Coaches, city officials, community leaders, and current players as well as Little League alumni are all looking forward to the Belmont Heights makeover.

“The league provides an opportunity for local kids that they wouldn't have otherwise,” said Gambrell, an assistant principal at Sligh Middle School. “They get to play the game, make friends and benefit from the teamwork and discipline baseball teaches them.”

Thanks to local support and the pledges of star hitter Evan Longoria along with Red Bull, this Little League’s big dreams are about to come true. Assistant Principal Gambrell put it best:

“Baseball is all about life. We're not necessarily trying to produce pro athletes, we're trying to produce young men.”
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