by Noah Allison
The single most important entity of the Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities program (RBI) is the community involved with it.
There is a special exuberance amongst kids wanting to learn and play baseball and adults who want to foster this excitement and see it grow. One such adult hails from the Indianapolis RBI community.
Drew Weingarten is an assistant coach and RBI Dad for the Indianapolis 15 and under junior team. His contribution is more so than on the field, it extends to being able to professionally repair baseball gloves. When Weingarten saw that one of the members of his team would take the field with a baseball glove held together by shoestrings he didn’t hesitate to offer his professional services.
A founder of Hoosier Ball Glove Company, Weingarten repairs and personalizes baseball and softball gloves. After various coaches meetings, he sought out the young man and went to work on the glove. “I’ve been repairing these kids gloves for years. Normally it’d be a 40 dollar repair job but I’d never charge our RBI kids,” he said. Within minutes the glove was stripped of its original lacing and the shoestring laces as well; he reached into his tool kit to start the stitching process without skipping a beat.
“I’ve been playing around with gloves a lot longer than repairing them. When my son broke his glove a couple of years back I started to pick up the basics of repair and it grew from there,” he said.
Within minutes the glove was as good as new and he ran it down to its proper owner who had a game early the next day. Weingarten noted the importance of the RBI kids having the proper equipment to get ready for the Regional Tournament. He also made a point to offer his services to the players of the other teams and cities. Not withholding to only help the team he helps coach or the city he is from. Upon completion of the quick repair job knowing that it was the right thing to do gave Weingarten all the reward he needed.
“It wouldn’t be that expensive to get a new glove, but this is His glove,” Weingarten pointed out. “Baseball players can be a bit superstitious, they want their glove, their bat. So it’s nice to get it game ready for him to use this tournament.”