On March 23rd-24th, Friends of Baseball partnered with PLAY GROW LEARN to offer a free youth recreation and skills camp for boys and girls at Nadaka Park in Gresham.
The skies were sunny and over 50 campers were out having fun with our Full Count RBI Coaches and the Play Grow Learn community.
The camp featured:
We would like to give a HUGE shoutout to our partners at Play Grow Learn for offering this camp and inviting FOB to be a part of it!
Check out this slideshow to see more photos from the event.
Friends of Baseball Taps Longtime Portland Athlete and Youth Mentor
PORTLAND, OR – One of Oregon’s most successful youth sports organizations, Friends of Baseball, has hired Aaron Dickson as its new Executive Director. Dickson takes over for fellow Portland State alum, Nova Newcomer.
Dickson, a Portland native, has spent the last 12 years dedicated to impacting at-risk youth with Oregon’s largest African-American led non-profit, Self Enhancement Inc. His tenure as Leadership Program Manager delivered critical experience in building foundational programs and solidified his passion for community and mentorship.
A proud Grant High School alum, Dickson went on to receive his bachelor’s degree at Portland State University, where he thrived as a defensive back under then coach, Jerry Glanville.
It’s no stretch to say he grew up in sports – his father also played football for PSU. That background, including his own transition away from baseball, he says, shaped him into who he is today.
“It’s a great honor to join the FOB family in service to the mission of enhancing children’s lives through baseball’s power to teach.” Dickson says, “Raised in a low-income community, I have experienced first-hand how sports can empower kids of all skills and abilities. Providing opportunities to underserved communities is what I am most passionate about. Every insight I’ve shared with young people is reinforced in baseball. I look forward to further developing the programs and structures that lead to greater overall impact and growth of the organization.”
Friends of Baseball was founded in 2005 by an Oregon father, son, and Board of Trustees, driven by their passion to give back to the community of youth baseball and softball that they love. Now an independent 501(c)(3) with programs extending across the state, the FOB team brings the game and its lessons to kids and coaches through Full Count summer camps, scholarships and equipment, skills clinics, one-on-one mentoring, team-based opportunities, and after-school programming.
See the official Press Release below.
FOB is accepting gear donations to give back to local youth leagues. Donated items should be boxed or bagged to allow for stacking in our limited storage space. Donations are also accepted by appointment only.
For more information and to make an appointment contact:
FOB Clubhouse Manager
As part of FOB's ongoing work to create greater access to baseball and softball, especially to underserved youth, the first FIND YOUR TEAM Family Info Night was held on Jan 14, 2022! Over 140 families registered for this virtual event, which featured an expert panel of Portland area youth baseball and softball coaches.
Families were provided with information on how to:
Prize giveaways were also provided thanks to event supporters DeMarini, Adidas, and Dick's Sporting Goods.
Link to watch:
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, FOB partnered with Play Grow Learn to attend a Turkey Giveaway in Gresham, where we passed out 135 bat and ball and fan kits to families and youth. We are thankful that we are able to help give back to the local community and support families.
Thank you Play Grow Learn!
FRIENDS OF BASEBALL IS HIRING!
We are currently expanding our team of Full Count Coach Mentors and are seeking motivated, committed youth mentors who are interested in working in our afterschool Full Count RBI youth programs. Expand your skills as a leader and a coach, help youth in our community, and explore baseball career options with Friends of Baseball.
Questions? Want to learn more?
Contact Molly Newcomer at email@example.com
Full Count RBI Coach/Mentor Job Description
Full Count RBI Coach/Mentor Info Flyer
Last week, Coach Anna, our Full Count Fellows, and 16 campers from the Full Count RBI Girls Lead Softball Program attended Portland State University for a field trip after it was postponed over the summer.
The trip provided campers with their first college campus visit and tour of the campus athletic facilities. The school tour was led by Vikings Assistant Softball Coach, Iris Rodriguez, and four softball student-athletes.
Our Fellows played a huge role in the field trip as they provided extra help for our campers during the tour and learned more about college. The field trip included transportation, chaperones, a Q&A with the athletes, dinner, and front row seats to a Vikings volleyball game. For just $35, you can help sponsor a future field trip spot for a Girls Lead participant!
Do you believe in the power of baseball and softball to enhance children’s lives through the life lessons of the game? Are you game to enact system change to provide young people with the opportunities and tools to swing for the fences on the field and in life? Friends of Baseball’s Executive Director is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization’s mission to enhance children’s lives through baseball’s power to teach. You will set the organization’s strategic direction in collaboration with the Board of Directors and develop a revenue generating plan to support capacity-building and program sustainability. This position works closely with the Board President and Officers and meets regularly with the full Board of Directors and leadership staff.
As Friends of Baseball’s next leader you will bring deep roots and connection to community and a passion for baseball and softball. You will lead the Friends of Baseball team and extended Friends of Baseball family of partners, volunteer, and fans with a strategic, active, curious, and committed approach using an anti-racist framework to realize lasting impact for youth and their families and extend the regional reach of the organization.
After a successful 7+ year tenure at Friends of Baseball, during which she delivered a 10x increase of revenue and oversaw exponential growth in community impact, we are announcing that Nova Newcomer will be making a transition out of her role as Executive Director. Nova came to this leadership role as the first staff person at Friends of Baseball and has helped secure the legacy of the organization as an enduring community institution. We want to thank her for her dedicated service, which involved many significant accomplishments:
Nova will be transitioning from her day-to-day role in late November, however she will be consulting with our team to support a successful hire and transition to a new Executive Director. The Executive Director position will be posted next week and we encourage you to share within your networks. If you have any questions or concerns during this process, please do not hesitate to reach out directly at EDsearch@friendsofbaseball.org.
President, Board of Directors of Friends of Baseball
Dear Friends of Baseball family,
You have been the best fans an Executive Director could ask for. You have cheered us on through significant growth and wins for our organization, and put your rally caps on for us when the challenges of our times called for it. It has been an honor and a privilege and the most rewarding ride to be the skipper at Friends of Baseball the past 7+ years.
I’ll start where I began.
I was a 9 year old girl who just wanted a chance to play. And my community wrapped its arms around me and made that possible. My coach, when I was 11 years old, saw leadership in me and asked me to be a catcher — a role I played with pride from 5th grade until my senior year of high school.
So long after my playing days were over and the opportunity presented itself for me to get behind the plate for Friends of Baseball in 2014, it wasn’t just that I was interested, I couldn’t think of anything else. The idea that we could rally the community around a promise of what baseball and softball could make possible for youth burned so bright that it propelled us through early and discouraging rejections.
Together, we persevered, we innovated, we put youth and their families at the center of what we do. We continued on, knowing if we did that, we could put baseball and softball youth development back on the map.
Last spring, we were asked to be one of the organizations to help end the isolation for youth disproportionately impacted by a global pandemic and we are answering that call.
Because I personally know what it’s like to have insecurity about where you will lay your head for the night, whether you will have enough food, or the threat of utilities being shut off, and because I understand firsthand the ravages of mental health issues on a family and young children — our team’s response to the pandemic is something I am most proud of.
Our charge to right the wrongs of racism that has seeped into every aspect of our society remains. When less than 8% of Major League players identify as Black Americans, the work remains. When the ballfields of neighborhoods across our region aren’t filled with the joy and laughter of all of our community’s children, the work remains. And until girls of all backgrounds can see sports as a viable pathway for the future where their voices will be heard and respected, the work remains.
In the search for a new Executive Director at Friends of Baseball, we will be looking for a leader with a commitment to that ongoing system change who has deep roots and connection to the community. The new leader will need to have a passion for baseball and softball and possess a competitive spirit to take Friends of Baseball’s impact to new heights.
I want to thank our dedicated team at Friends of Baseball who have been the key to all that we have been able to accomplish before and through the pandemic. To our Board, thank you for seeing our organization through great heights and hardships with a steady hand and giving us the flexibility to move toward the community in a just and compassionate way. And to all of our friends and supporters who have believed in us and walked alongside us, I want to extend my deepest gratitude.
In the near term, I will be focused on supporting a successful transition to a new Executive Director for our organization. I will carry my heart and passion for this work into my next role.
The future of Friends of Baseball is bright, we have an exceptional and committed staff, and our foundation is strong. I am excited to see what the next era of Friends of Baseball will make possible for the children of our community.
Friends of Baseball
Friends of Baseball
We believe every child should have the opportunities to swing for the fences on the field and in life.