Inner City Youth Baseball/Softball

For over 21 years, the Inner City Youth Baseball/Softball program has been providing kids with a high quality summer baseball/softball experience right in their own neighborhoods. Through a partnership with the West Michigan Whitecaps, Fifth Third Bank, Meijer, and Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation the program has grown from just a few hundred kids to an average of 1,600 boys and girls each summer.

This exciting community based program, impacts the lives of kids and families in so many ways:

  • Strengthening Families: Parents are recruited to be volunteer coaches.
  • Positive Role Models: Teams are coached by volunteers who put an emphasis on learning skills and having a positive attitude, with a focus on good sportsmanship.
  • Building Character: The program teaches the kids to learn the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and inclusion.
  • Healthy Meals: Through the Y’s Food Service Program, healthy dinners are available to the kids and family members prior to each game.

The Give a Glove Campaign grew out of this program as many kids were unable to afford gloves. Each year the community generously donates new or gently used YOUTH sized baseball glove. During the campaign, gloves are dropped of at any West Michigan Fifth Third Bank branch in Kent and Ottawa county, Fifth Third Ballpark, at all Y branch locations.

West Michigan Whitecaps

Fifth Third Bank


Kids playing Inner City Baseball

If you are interested in learning more about this program or would like to get involved, please contact Luke Bronkema at 616.855.9522.