Participants from the Babe Ruth Baseball League
By Chester Livingston
VP- Oakland Babe Ruth Baseball League
Oakland All Star Baseball, a travel team with the Oakland Babe Ruth League traveled across country to tour the campus of Bethune-Cookman University on November 26.
Team organizers say their objective is to create pathways to college for players and help them positively influence their siblings, peers and the broader community through academic achievement, competitive athletics and community service.
The team, coached by Chester Livingston, Kevin Blackburn and Rusty Jackson, participates in a variety of community service events. In July, team members volunteered at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle to prepare and serve an Independence Day brunch for over 300 homeless and underprivileged citizens in Oakland, CA.
Bethune-Cookman University is located in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed, is the President of Bethune-Cookman.
Head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez, stressing the importance of education and good grades, told the players that hitting the ball is good, but being successful in life is more important. He said it is not about how good they are now, but rather how good they will be. He encouraged the players to seek out academic scholarships as well as athletic scholarships.
Bethune Cookman has made it to the NCAA playoffs eight out of the last ten years. Their inter conference record is 37 wins and two losses during the last three years.
Head Admissions Counselor, Darnel Butler told the young men to consider their grade point averages (GPA) as finance, the higher the GPA, the more money one has. Campus housing is separated on GPA, with honors dorms being the exclusive housing.
Butler stressed the importance of dressing the part and looking the part in order to get the part.
He said the school’s disciplinary infractions, geared to help students understand future workplace consequences for inappropriate behavior, include fines of $1000 for fighting and $200 fine for cursing. Because so many young men are going to prison the ratio of females to men is 17 to 1 on the campus. up. Butler also stated the importance of community service and volunteerism, he was impressed that several of the players were already giving back to the community by preparing and serving dinners to the homeless at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle.