The goal of this evaluation study is to understand the effects of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s program, Badges for Baseball, on positive youth developmental outcomes.
Cal Ripken, Jr., Bill Ripken, and other members of the Ripken family founded the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in 2001 to honor "Cal, Sr." and his legacy of "teaching the basics of baseball as well as the basics of life to both big leaguers and their youth league counterparts." The foundation receives charitable contributions to fund baseball and softball themed programs that teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged youth. Current programs include:
- Badges for Baseball: a juvenile crime prevention program that pairs police officers and kids to play baseball and to learn important lessons about teamwork, communication, respect, and leadership.
- Healthy Choices, Healthy Children: a health promotion program that engages youth with their mentors and coaches in dialogues about living a positive, productive, and healthy lifestyle.
- Youth Development Parks: an initiative to build multipurpose, synthetic turf, low-maintenance athletic fields for youth sports programs in disadvantaged communities. The new fields are often sites for other Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation programs.
While the youth in these programs enjoy the opportunity to play baseball and other sports, the overarching goal is to promote positive developmental outcomes including:
- Respect and empathy for others.
- Self-esteem and self-efficacy.
- Future orientation and work ethic.
- Communication and leadership skills
- Relationships with positive peers and adults.
- Less delinquency.
- Healthy behaviors.
- Positive engagement in school.
In the long-term, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation hopes that positive engagement in these programs will help the youth become productive, responsible, and caring citizens in their communities—as indicated by high school graduation, higher education, employment, and positive relationships with family and community members.
For more information about the Badges for Baseball program, visit the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation webpage.