SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – More than a hundred students from the Tenderloin neighborhood were treated to a San Francisco Giants game on Thursday at AT&T Park, thanks to the Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation For Kids.
Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation For Kids President and Founder Nick Bovis said the goal is to make every day Kids Day. “It all started when Lefty O’Doul was with Babe Ruth on a ship to Japan where Babe told him, if it wasn’t for baseball, I’d be in the cemetery or penitentiary,” he said.
In 1927, in order to stop O’Doul from tossing so many baseballs to children in the left-field bleachers, San Francisco Seals owner Charlie Graham agreed to sponsor Kids Day, where youngsters were admitted to the ballgame for free.
On Thursday, 150 students from the San Francisco City Academy attended the Giants game, many making their first trip ever to AT&T Park. The children and teachers wore Lefty O’Doul’s t-shirts and sang as they marched from the school to the ballpark.
Principal Joni Rummell said it was an eye-opening experience.
“I can’t even think of a place that has grass that is nearby our school. They play on basketball courts or a playground maybe,” she said. “There’s really not even a grass area for them to play a real baseball game anywhere nearby us.”
Alonzo Mejia was one of the many excited students. “It’s very fun to do because I’ve never been to one of these. It’s so awesome that I’m here.”
The Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation was established to carry on the tradition of putting baseballs in the hands of children, inspiring them to love the game and serves more than 10,000 children a year.