Many kids have their first encounter with baseball through a little league team. But in one of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in Austin, getting the right equipment doesn't come easy.
Making it big time in baseball is a tall task. But it all starts on a much smaller field. A little league one like east Austin's Mabson Field, only this field has seen better days. But several groups are working together to bring it to all its glory.
"The field overall is in pretty rough shape."
The Round Rock Express, along with the Nolan Ryan Foundation, RBI Austin, and many others are working to raise the $270,000 needed to fix this field. In place of weeds and potholes, they'll get artificial turf. Something the kids can be proud of.
"There's not a lot in the area and it's a high quality playing surface, state of the art. Astroturf has stepped in and brought in the big guns to help with this project," said Garrett Reddehase, Director of Ryan Sanders Sports Turf Services.
Matt Price with RBI Austin could not imagine a better field for his little leaguers. They work to revive baseball in inner cities. And hope to empower these kids by combining America's pastime and mentoring.
"Really the thing that most of these kids are missing is that community of caring coaches and mentors in their lives that helps the kid flourish and be trained up to be a successful young person," said Price.
And to do that, they have the help of some well-known friends.
Reckless Kelly have been huge supporters of what baseball teaches the youth, already raising more than $100,000 for the Austin little league.
They're are putting on their "pitchin' party" Wednesday night to help raise the money.
"I think it's really important for kids to play baseball. It's something that teaches them about being on a team and teaches them a lot of life lessons that are really important for them down the road and just for them to be able to have the opportunity to come out and do that is really important," said Cody Braun,
Fiddle player for Reckless Kelly.
And hopefully by this spring, when green turf covers this field, it will catch the eye of a kid or two.
When a kid or a family goes by the field and they see a beautiful field with green turf, they want to get out there and play on it.
The Pitchin party starts at 6 p.m. at the Belmont on West 6th. They will also have a silent auction.