Diamondbacks take field with little leaguers to kick off new jersey donation program

Two weeks ago we told you about the Arizona Diamondbacks plans to donate over $600,000 worth of authentic jerseys and hats to 33 Phoenix-area Little Leagues for their upcoming season.

We’ve since learned that more than 22,000 youth baseball and softball players will benefit from the program. And in order to accommodate all of the different teams in each league, the D-Backs have come up with 75 different color combinations.

It’s called the D-backs Give Back Jersey Program, and the team kicked it off in style on Saturday when several players stopped by Randy Johnson Field at Salt River Fields to coach, umpire, play ball and just generally hang out with the kids from Ahwatukee Little League.

Among the D-Backs participating were Didi Gregorius, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross and Brad Ziegler. At one point, Ziegler even stepped into the batter's box and got some bunting work in, which we're sure pleased manager Kirk Gibson. Then again, he may have been horrified to see Ziegler push the first pitch foul, but he’s more of a middle-to-late inning reliever anyway, which means his plate appearances are few and far between.

By the way, it's worth watching the video just to see Ziegler’s shorts. Somehow those colors weren’t included among the 75 different combinations.

All in all it looked like a fun day and a fun way to kick off what is already proving to be a successful program spearheaded by CEO Derrick Hall. He understood the impact their donations would have on every league as it will offset the costs needed to provide uniforms. That opens up funds to provide safer equipment and makes it more affordable for players to sign up.

The more players that get involved in Little League, the better it is for everybody. That includes the D-Backs, who are guaranteed to make a few new fans along the way.

To read all about the event and see more photos, check out Diary of a Diehard.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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