Adam Ottavino
(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Adam Ottavino Helps League That Molded him

Red Sox Relief Pitcher Adam Ottavino donated memorabilia and pitching lessons to the Brooklyn-based 78th Youth Sports Program, an organization that helped him develop into the pitcher he is today. The organization was struggling as a result of the pandemic and reached out to its most prominent alumni in Ottavino. The program was facing bankruptcy when Ottavino decided to help out, and he has raised $20,000 in assistance so far.

That was how I got introduced to the world, by playing sports and being out there with other kids,” Ottavino said. “We don’t want it to go away.”

Ottavino, raised in Brooklyn, has a lot of love where he is from, and his response to the needs of his community illustrate why he is such an easy player to root for.

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78th Youth Sports

Before the pandemic stopped the sports world completely, more than 1,450 players signed up for baseball through 78th Youth Sports. Cherri Walsh, the chair of the 78th Youth Sports board, was distraught when all leagues were canceled last year.

Walsh says the organization lost about 30% of its total revenues in 2020, which changed the entire outlook of the company and jeopardized it as a whole. The company was reluctant to reach out for donations with everyone struggling at this time last year. Once things began to open up again is when they reached out to Ottavino.

Ottavino accredits much of his success to the company that shaped him as an athlete and a person.

“It’s nothing that I asked for. I was just put on the right track,” he said. “I was doing exactly what would get me here, I just didn’t know it yet.”

Adam Ottavino and the Impact of Youth Sports

Ottavino later added that youth sports “planted the seed of that passion that carried me forward into the other leagues, into the big leagues and every step of the way.” Youth sports teach us about the basics of the game, the highs and lows in moderation, and what to expect at the next level, but above all, they teach us how to fall in love with the game itself.

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