More than 500 metro Detroit youth recently kicked off their baseball and t-ball season this summer with the Tiny Tigers, a collaboration between the Detroit Tigers Foundation and the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL). Tiny Tigers gives local kids ages 4-8 the opportunity to engage with others while learning the sport and other life skills such as teamwork and perseverance.
Annually, hundreds of young metro Detroiters participate in PAL’s baseball program; a part of PAL’s Team UP program, where officers from the Detroit Police Department serve as coaches and mentors to the children. Since its inception in 2008, nearly 7,000 children have enrolled in the Tiny Tigers program in partnership with Detroit PAL.
Earlier this month, participants gathered for Tiny Tigers annual Opening Day at Detroit’s Corner Ballpark – the former Tigers Stadium. One young player, seven-year-old George Latham IV of Detroit, participated in his first ever baseball game and said he was excited to make friends and learn how to play the sport. In addition to gaining experience on the baseball field, Latham formed an immediate connection with his program mentors, including Corporal Marcus Norwood. Seeing Latham and other children on the field comes full circle for Norwood, as he, too, was a participant in PAL youth baseball, before becoming a Detroit police officer and the Youth Development Officer for PAL. The personal connections made through the Tiny Tigers program are deeply impactful and can last a lifetime.
See highlights from Tiny Tigers Opening Day in this video:
Detroit PAL, a non-profit organization based in Corktown, impacts more than 14,000 Detroit area children each year through its sports and recreational camps and after-school activities with the help of more than 1,700 volunteers. Founded in 1969, the organization gives children an opportunity to learn skills needed to succeed both on and off the playing field.