We've had some tweets directed our way asking if the Padres would continue their popular Little League Initiative after its champion, former CEO Tom Garfinkel departed the team. I didn't know myself until I found this information page hidden on Padres.com this morning:
Most popular Padres Little League uniforms of 2012
The ranking of which uniforms were most (and least) requested by the teams participating (along with some commentary)
Padres Little League Initiative | padres.com: Community
The Padres' commitment to youth baseball continues in 2014 with their signature Youth Baseball Initiative.
Yes! Either this is relatively new news or the Padres made the announcement very quietly. I feared that their greatest public outreach program would be forgotten after last year's regime change.
When this program was first announced in 2011, I explained the genius behind the idea. Kids often times choose their MLB team allegiance very early due to their association with their corresponding Little League team. By saturating 5 Little League districts throughout San Diego with Padres uniforms they're laying a foundation for Padres fandom. In a town full of transplants and tourists creating a sense of civic pride is of the utmost importance. Not only that but now these kids who have seen their team clad in nothing but boring blue, white and gray get to see their team in full color for the first time. Many will get to experience the Padres in their true brown and gold colors for the first time ever.
Here's some fun facts for 2014 provided by the Padres:
- 50 leagues will be part of the initiative
- That's 1,076 teams in total
- They'll provide more than 14,700 jerseys
- Nearly 30 Opening Day Visits
Randy Jones and Tom Garfinkel talk about Little League Uniforms
Padres accused of hurting local sporting goods businesses by giving away free Little League uniforms
Padres Little League Initiative Makes Me Wish I Was a Little Leaguer