Can I Play?” Gala

by Nova Newcomer


Last year, when we cel­e­brated our 10th Anniver­sary with nearly 300 com­mu­nity mem­bers, we asked the group to dream with us, “If Only…”

If Only our kids played on safe fields. If Only coaches were pro­vided with the train­ing and resources they needed. If Only fam­i­lies didn’t have to worry about afford­ing that glove. If Only every child had the chance to play.

Buy Gala Tickets

On Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 23, 2016 at Ore­gon Golf Club, we will con­vene again to show you what is pos­si­ble when we answer, “Yes” to this ques­tion for the most under­served youth in our community.

Like last year, we will have an engag­ing pro­gram and live auc­tion with “can’t get any­where else” items and bring together hun­dreds of busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers to sup­port the engage­ment of our youth through base­ball– inspired edu­ca­tional pro­gram­ming. But this year, our vision is bolder. We want to launch Full Count in 10 new schools this Fall and Winter.

Our youth are ask­ing, “Can I Play?”

Please answer “Yes” with us and join us at this inspi­ra­tional event.

Play Ball,


Excuse our absence…Been busy on the field!

by Nova Newcomer

Well as you might have noticed, it’s been too long since we have pro­vided some updates on the web­site! While it is no excuse, we have been very busy in the field, lit­er­ally, on the ball field! It has been a fun sea­son for us at Friends of Base­ball, includ­ing three Port­land Metro area sum­mer Full Count enrich­ment camps, with the sec­ond and third camps just wrap­ping up. We have two more ahead to round out the sum­mer! What a blast it has been!

  • June 20–24 at Ock­ley Green all day (Port­land Parks spon­sored week)
  • Jul 5–8 and 11–15 Part­ner­ship with SUN and Self Enhance­ment Inc for 1/2 day after­noon camps (Jef­fer­son Cluster)
  • Jul 25–29 and Aug 1–5 at Rose­way Heights for Madi­son Clus­ter –part­ner­ship with Madi­son High School baseball

This doesn’t include our pilot camp up in Seat­tle WA, in part­ner­ship with a fan­tas­tic orga­ni­za­tion called Base­ball Beyond Bor­ders, a com­mu­nity devel­op­ment orga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing devel­op­men­tal teams in the 16U and 18U age divi­sions through Inner-City schools in the Seat­tle area. Since it is a pilot run, it is a scaled down ver­sion of our tra­di­tional Full Count Camp, it is a one day a week camp, weekly through the month of July and into August. Impor­tant to have our pro­grams expand­ing across the Pacific North­west — but you don’t have to believe us — you can tell from the smil­ing faces below!


Open­ing Day was fun for us too! Not only did we get to cel­e­brate it with our Part­ner Green Zebra gro­cery in North Port­land kick­ing off the 2016 sea­son, we also had the chance to give back to our friends at the Mariners. Specif­i­cally to a spe­cial kind of per­son by the name of Miles. Miles is an usher at Safeco field and has been for years, and he has made it his mis­sion to keep the love of col­lect­ing base­ball cards alive by hand­ing out (from his own col­lec­tion mind you) base­ball cards to each young fan walk­ing through his gate to Safeco field. We had the chance to replen­ish his stash of cards thanks to a gen­er­ous gift from a local, true Friend of Base­ball, Bruce Kracke. It was an honor to meet Miles and the smile on his face when we sur­prised him with over 10,000 cards — was priceless!


Off the field, we have also expanded our board with 2 new mem­bers (Cindy Nichol and Drew Hage­dorn) who we will intro­duce fur­ther after they have had a chance to get their feet wet. We just con­ducted our yearly strat­egy meet­ing in June. Both Cindy and Drew are jump­ing right in to get involved from the get go! Nova and the rest of the FOB board can’t wait to uti­lize their skills and pas­sion for youth base­ball and soft­ball in the NW as we con­tinue with our Can I Play initiative!

And finally the biggest rea­son we are in tran­si­tion, we are work­ing hard to update our web­site, which we are very excited about! Not only will it be more infor­ma­tive, but eas­ier for you, our vis­i­tors, to help con­tribute to the amaz­ing game of youth base­ball in the NW through FOB. Please stay tuned for the big reveal…com­ing soon!

As we con­tinue to final­ize the web­site, please be patient. Keep in touch with us through Face­Book and most impor­tantly, come and see us for our Gala on Sep­tem­ber 23rd at the Ore­gon Golf Club (for infor­ma­tion, email In the mean­time, I hope this update pro­vides a glimpse into what we are up to and a chance to say THANK YOU to every­one who has sup­ported our efforts over the years. As we always say…#baseballbuildscommunity.

Play Ball!

Ben Long­cor
Friends of Base­ball Co-Founder/President

A Thank You From MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred

by Nova Newcomer


When MLB Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred issued his let­ter around this time last year, we were so inspired and moti­vated to learn that his pri­or­i­ties for Major League Base­ball aligned so well with our pri­or­i­ties to Keep Kids on the Field of Play.

He said, “Base­ball is a game firmly rooted in child­hood expe­ri­ences, and its vital­ity and growth rely heav­ily on giv­ing young peo­ple from all back­grounds the oppor­tu­nity to play and watch baseball.”

That’s why we were hon­ored to have Com­mis­sioner Man­fred par­tic­i­pate in our 10th Anniver­sary Gala from afar with his spe­cial video mes­sage and con­grat­u­la­tions not just to our Founders, but to ALL OF YOU who have been there along the way to help us help more kids.


  • In 2015, we TRIPLED the num­ber of schol­ar­ships we pro­vided to boys and girls to play base­ball and soft­ball across Ore­gon and SW Washington.
  • Hosted our 9th Annual Coaches Clinic with over 200 coacheswith ses­sions by Dave Gasser, Kevin Gun­der­son and guest trainer, Steve Ban­dura of the Ander­son Monarchs
  • We launched our Full Count After School and Day Camp pro­gram and are expand­ing to 2 MORE SCHOOL COMMUNITIES this win­ter!
  • We cel­e­brated 10 Years of Friends of Baseball’s work in the com­mu­nity at our Novem­ber Gala where we raised over $35,000
  • And we have so much more to come this year…stay tuned!

Today, it’s the first day of  2016. You know what that means. A new sea­son ahead…


Nova and Ben

Holiday Message from the Seattle Mariners

by Nova Newcomer


The Seat­tle Mariners sent us a spe­cial hol­i­day thank you video mes­sage to our part­ners and sup­port­ers who have done so much for youth base­ball and soft­ball over Friends of Baseball’s decade of service.

At our Gala in Novem­ber, we raised a lit­tle over $35,000 to help fund our new Full Count pro­gram to bring more youth to the game. We are proud to part­ner with the Seat­tle Mariners to build com­mu­nity through base­ball and have their sup­port at our 10th Anniver­sary celebration.

Enjoy this spe­cial mes­sage from the Mariner Moose and his col­leagues and our front office friends, Gina Has­son and Bob Hellinger.

And remem­ber base­ball is always just around the corner.

To a fun and mem­o­rable 2016 year and season!

Your fans at Friends of Baseball

2015 Gala: The Cure for the Baseball Void

by Nova Newcomer

Base­ball doesn’t have to end with the post-season…

Get your Gala tick­ets today and hear from the “Keeper of the Flame” Roberto Clemente Jr.

Bid on Dream Base­ball Expe­ri­ences in our Live Auc­tion including:

  • Seat­tle Mariners Suite for 20
  • MLB Stu­dio Tour and lunch with Harold Reynolds in New York
  • Lunch at the Mult­nomah Ath­letic Club with Major League Base­ball Umpire Jim Joyce
  • Pri­vate Tour of Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
  • 2016 Chicago Cubs Week­end and tick­ets for the Giants, Pirates, Yan­kees, and more…

Golden Tick­ets also avail­able for pur­chase to “steal home” for an auc­tion item

Gala Email Invite


Din­ner includes hosted beer and wine and appe­tiz­ers for net­work­ing recep­tion and baseball-inspired per­for­mance from Michael Allen Har­ri­son and Julianne Johnson

Pro­ceeds ben­e­fit Friends of Baseball’s Full Count pro­gram which teaches life skills to boys and girls through baseball-inspired edu­ca­tional programming

If Only…

by Nova Newcomer

FOB Gala Save the Date


It’s a ten year dream come true.

In ten years of giv­ing back to the game we love, we have heard from and been inspired by you. You told us what base­ball and soft­ball means to you, your fam­ily, and your community.

You showed us the val­ues of the game and how it shapes for­ever the lives of the kids who play it. How it trans­forms the com­mu­ni­ties where it’s played.

You told us how kids today just don’t get the time or the oppor­tu­nity to play anymore.

If only, you said, more kids could have the chance to benefit.


On Novem­ber 13, we cel­e­brate you and that vision you shared.

Not only will we be cel­e­brat­ing 10 years of Friends of Base­ball, we will be offi­cially launch­ing our new Full Count after school edu­ca­tion pro­gram that deliv­ers life skills to even more boys and girls through the pow­er­ful vehi­cle of baseball.

Bring­ing base­ball back to schools through Full Count is our response to your ques­tion, “If Only.”

Event Details:
Fri­day, Novem­ber 13
VIP Recep­tion 5:00 - 6:00
Gala: 6:00 — 9:00 pm
Ore­gon Golf Club
Indi­vid­ual Gala Tick­ets: $75 until August 15th
VIP Recep­tion and Gala with Roberto Clemente Jr: $150 (LIMITED!)
Table of 10: $750 until August 15th
Spon­sor oppor­tu­ni­ties available!

Event High­lights

  • Hon­ored Guest: Roberto Clemente Jr.
  • One-of-a-kind baseball-inspired per­for­mance by renowned com­poser Michael Allen Harrison
  • Golden Ticket and Live Auc­tion with Dream Base­ball Experiences

At Friends of Base­ball, we like to say “base­ball builds community.”

Be there Novem­ber 13th to build with us,

Nova New­comer
Exec­u­tive Director

Happy Opening Day!

by Keenan Longcor

We want to wish all of you a Happy Open­ing Day!

And it’s a happy one indeed. Friends of Baseball’s 2015 Dia­mond Dreams mem­bers helped over 150 boys and girls expe­ri­ence the joy of play­ing ball this season.

Mem­bers received a com­mem­o­ra­tive Open­ing Day base­ball card from our Dia­mond Dreams cor­po­rate part­ners, the Seat­tle Mariners, and fea­tur­ing fan-favorite sec­ond base­man, Robin­son Cano.

Make sure you sign up to be a mem­ber for our 2015–16 pro­gram so you receive all the ben­e­fits of membership!

And we are just get­ting started for 2015. We have an excit­ing sea­son ahead work­ing to keep kids on the field of play. A few of the highlights:

  • Ben­e­fit event cel­e­brat­ing Open­ing Day with Green Zebra Gro­cery at 3011 N Lom­bard on Sat­ur­day, April 4 from 12:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Launch­ing our Full Count Day Camp and After School pro­gram with an inno­v­a­tive “whole child” cur­ricu­lum that works to build char­ac­ter and con­fi­dence for boys and girls within the frame­work of learn­ing base­ball fundamentals
  • Cel­e­brat­ing the 10th Anniver­sary of Friends of Base­ball at Ore­gon Golf Club on Novem­ber 13th

On behalf of the board of Friends of Base­ball, thank you to our mem­bers, spon­sors, part­ner leagues and player fam­i­lies for cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for suc­cess on and off the field for boys and girls in Ore­gon and SW Washington.

Here’s to another fun and reward­ing season!


Adrenal USA Ÿ * Atkin­son Insur­ance Ÿ * Hills­boro Hops Ÿ * PARR Lum­ber Ÿ * Pro­time Sports

Seat­tle Mariners Ÿ* Val­ley Ath­let­ics * West­ern Family

8th Annual Coaches Clinic

by Keenan Longcor

8th Annual Coaches Clinic


We are very excited to host our Eighth Annual Port­land Youth Coaches’ Clinic again at Con­cordia Uni­ver­sity Sports Com­plex in N.E. Port­land. This year’s guest speak­ers rep­re­sent a wealth of coach­ing expe­ri­ences, per­spec­tives, and skills and drills that will pro­vide begin­ning coaches with a starter’s tool­box and help expe­ri­enced coaches hone their craft and serve as men­tors to young players.

Our Expanded Full Day of Train­ing Features:

Steve Ban­dura, Founder of Ander­son Mon­archs in Philadel­phia and for­mer coach of Mo’Ne Davis

David Gasser, Oregon’s win­ningest high school base­ball coach

Kevin Gun­der­son, Elite Pitch­ing NW

Visit our clinic page for more details and to secure your spot by Fri­day, Jan­u­ary 23rd!

Make Visions of Baseball Dance In Their Heads

by Keenan Longcor


Join the Friends of Base­ball Board and our Dia­mond Dreams Chair, Mark Atkin­son in giv­ing the gift of base­ball this hol­i­day sea­son. Pur­chase a $25 youth mem­ber­ship for the BATBOY or BATGIRL in your life and your gift will be matched by our part­ners at Atkin­son Insur­ance. Your gen­er­ous gift will bring the joy of base­ball to the child in your life and make the Dia­mond Dreams of a child in Ore­gon and SW Wash­ing­ton possible.

Two Ways to Win!

signed_mariners_ball For just $25, you can give the gift of base­ball and the child in your life could win a signed base­ball from our Dia­mond Dreams part­ners, the Seat­tle Mariners. Every youth mem­ber­ship will DOUBLE your invest­ment in base­ball and soft­ball in our com­mu­nity. That’s right — we will get to invest $50 for your gift of $25!



mexico_vacationFor $120, you can take care of the grownup fans too! Your Dia­mond Dreams mem­ber­ship for the base­ball fanatic in your life enters you in our draw­ing for a dream 7-day vaca­tion for 2 in Mex­ico at Vaca­tion Internationale’s Tor­res Mazat­lan Lux­ury Resort (pic­tured above) with air­fare from Alaska Air­lines.


Diamond Dreams launches with over $10,000 in seed funds

by Nova Newcomer

Diamond Dreams_LogoMem­ber­ship has its benefits…for you and your community!

Now you can share own­er­ship in Friends of Base­ball. Become a mem­ber and see your gift mul­ti­plied. Friends of Base­ball cre­ates oppor­tu­ni­ties for suc­cess on and off the field.

One of the top rea­sons that kids do not play base­ball or soft­ball is due to finan­cial inel­i­gi­bil­ity. 3.5 mil­lion kids will lose access to sports in the next decade. Friends of Base­ball is revers­ing this trend in Ore­gon and SW Wash­ing­ton by pro­vid­ing a safety net to boys and girls who want to play ball.

We have worked together with our com­mu­nity part­ners to pro­vide over $2.4 mil­lion in pro­gram­ming, grants, schol­ar­ships, and equip­ment and serve over 40,000 chil­dren since 2005.

With your sup­port we will “Keep Kids on the Field of Play.” We have devel­oped a mem­ber­ship level for every­one and every mem­ber receives ben­e­fits devel­oped specif­i­cally by part­ners in our com­mu­nity who want to rec­og­nize your generosity.

Join at: