The game of baseball has a unique ability to bring people together and uplift communities. People from all walks of life have experienced the magic of baseball.
The First Base Foundation – California Warriors mission is to promote equality, create opportunities, and strengthen our communities by providing high school student athletes access to a competitive, high caliber Travel Baseball Program regardless of a family’s ability to pay. FBF makes travel baseball more affordable, transforms lives through positive mentorship, and combats inequality by cultivating a healthy space for student athletes of diverse backgrounds to interact with one another in the pursuit of playing college baseball and becoming a college graduate.
Our program emphasizes the importance of getting good grades, doing well in school, reaching out to college coaches, and becoming a leader in the community. These are the qualities that inspire our participants to succeed and be recruited by college coaches. Of all of the California Warriors participants since 2003:
- 15% were the first in their family to go to college
- 20% have played college baseball
- 35 have played professionally
While on the surface baseball is just a game, the deeper you understand the game, the more life lessons you learn. It is important to take great care of your body to be a high-caliber athlete. This means you have to understand nutrition, diet, and conditioning. Good sportsmanship and teamwork help strengthen our society. There is nothing like hitting to teach you the art of turning failure into growth and staying focused during life’s highs and lows. “Don’t take your eye off the ball,” is the universal expression in baseball.
Improving access to those life lessons alone would be enough to make the First Base Foundation’s efforts worthwhile, but that’s only part of the story. Fewer under-resourced and underrepresented high school kids playing baseball at a serious, competitive level by default meant that their access to college baseball scholarships declined correspondingly, and therefore so too did their ability to use baseball as a vehicle to get a college degree.
With the explosive costs of Travel Baseball to families, access to playing the game diminished. Having witnessed the lack of opportunity first-hand as he climbed the baseball ranks first as a college athlete at UC Berkeley and then as a minor league player in the Chicago Cubs system, Noah Jackson founded the First Base Foundation – California Warriors in 2003 to provide an affordable alternative.