PLAYING THE FIELD IN THE COMMUNITY: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OF THE MLB AND HALL OF FAME
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This research analyzes how Major League Baseball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum impact the youth in their surrounding area through community engagement. Community engagement programs are chosen and measured based on their interactions, connections, the fostering of goodwill, and the development of relationships with the youth and the community. Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, Be A Superior Example, and the recipients of the Roberto Clemente Award are chosen to represent the three types of programs studied. This research will observe the strengths and weakness to help determine the impact of each program. The success of each program is finally determined on whether the intended goals are met, by the growth of participants, the growth regarding area impacted, and the growth in opportunities. Interviews and MLB Community Reports find that Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities experiences the greatest increase in growth in every aspect of the program. However, the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities growth results in not every city gaining the same influential experience. A greater connection is established in the smaller community engagement events, such as organization-led or individual-led programs. In the end, organizational-led programs are the most well-rounded and prominent. Organization-led programs involved in league-wide programs increase the likelihood of success for the larger programs. In addition, organizations motivate players and give players resources to form their own community engagement programs. Although the three programs differentiate in size, distance impacted, and their goals, the heroic outlook of the professional athletes used in every event made these programs successful in some shape or form.