2012 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|Philadelphia||Strawberry Mansion All-Star Baseball League|
|Commissioner Derrick Ford accepts the award on behalf of the Strawberry Mansion All-Star Baseball League.|
The Philadelphia Division is pleased to honor the Strawberry Mansion All-Star Baseball League, an organization that provides positive alternatives to violence, as a recipient of the 2012 Director’s Community Leadership Award.
In 2007, Derrick Ford, a Philadelphia community leader, led the effort to revitalize an unused area baseball field and form the Strawberry Mansion All-Star Baseball League. The league began with just eight teams for boys and girls. Today, thanks to the efforts of local community leaders, former childhood teammates, and families, the league sponsors 18 teams that play in nine different locations. The league’s motto is, “Through it all, let’s play ball.” To keep youth involved in positive activities all year long, a Strawberry Mansion Flag Football League has also been established. In both leagues, Mr. Ford and the team coaches and volunteers encourage players to focus on their education, have a positive attitude, and be respectful of themselves and others.
The Philadelphia FBI and the league teamed up in 2008 to coordinate the Step Up to the Plate to Strike Out Violence softball game and community expo. And each year, community leaders, the Philadelphia police commissioner, and local associations—including the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia 76ers—gather to provide safety and social service information to more than 500 members of the Strawberry Mansion community.