Atlantic City police officers and a local traveling baseball team are hitting the field and teaching the youth in Atlantic City some fundamentals about playing America's game.
"It's just great helping out these kids and seeing the smile on their face. It's fun," said Nicholas Ardente, a player with the South Jersey Sand Sharks.
Players from the Sand Sharks teamed up with police officers at the Duane Harris Ballpark in Atlantic City Friday evening to help local kids in the city with their baseball skills.
"To be able to spark some interest in baseball and teach them the fundamentals. To show them that the Atlantic City Police Department wants to establish that partnership within the community," said Deputy Chief James Pasquale with the Atlantic City Police Department.
"It definitely keeps these kids out of trouble. It gives them some social skills with their peers," said Lamont Fauntleroy, Commissioner with the Police Athletic League Little League.
These youngsters, who learned tips Friday evening, are a part of the Police Athletic League Little League Baseball Program.
"What we'd like to do is be role models for them and teach them the great game of baseball," said Pasquale.
"I think it shows leadership to see the policemen out here who protect and serve this area," said Kareem Spence, a father whose child plays in the P.A.L Little League. “It's more than your Mom and Dad that care about you. It's the community. The community cares about you."
"If you want to get good at baseball or anything in life, you got to work at it," said Pasquale.
Pasquale is the Head Coach for the South Jersey Sand Sharks. The Chief of Police and Pasquale came up with idea to have this clinic on Friday. Pasquale also encouraged his players to donate baseball equipment to these kids in the P.A.L. Little League.
"Some of these kids that come here today don't have baseball gloves, cleats or helmets. To be able to give them that, even though this stuff is used, it's a great thing," said Pasquale.
"I donated bags and helmets just to help out because we don't use them anymore. I just want them to have the best stuff to play baseball," said Ardente.
An evening to play some baseball, but more importantly, to establish a bond between the youth in Atlantic City, and local law enforcement.
"I hope this is the beginning of the police officers coming out and being involved with the kids," said Fauntleroy.
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