She Plays with Passion
Aneyshka Aponte, a current junior at Reading High School is one of only 64 girls selected internationally for the event MLB and USA Baseball High School Girls Baseball Invitational. She was selected to participate on the International Team for the event. She left Puerto Rico in June of 2018 and moved in with her aunt and uncle in Reading, PA to create more opportunities in baseball and softball.
Immediately after arriving here, she got registered in Berkshire Baseball & Softball Club’s “Work Hard, Play Hard” program. The program, which BIG Vision Foundation unveiled at the start of the 2018 season eliminates registration fees and requires its players to provide community service hours to secure their roster spot. The program was inspired by an episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel which pointed out that even though youth sports has now become an over $17 billion industry, participation has declined over 8% in the past 10 years.
Since the inception of the program, BIG Vision is proud to point out the following statistics:
- Increased the number of participants that played under the Berkshire umbrella by over 300%.
- 72% of the players in the program come from the inner-city of Reading.
- Broke the mold of the youth travel sports industry by eliminating high-cost player registration fees.
- Teaching its players, the importance of giving back to the community by having them volunteer, an endeavor that has resulted in over 2,000 volunteer hours during the 2018 season.
- Significantly increased the diversity of its programs
Aponte played on the Berkshire Titans boy’s baseball team in the summer of 2018 and then also played on the Berkshire Bobcats fastpitch softball team as well in the fall of 2018.
She won “Defensive Player of the Year” honors for the Bobcats team and was recognized as a recipient of one of the organization’s, “Ruth Hartman Memorial Trailblazer” awards for being only the second female to play on a boy’s baseball team in the organization’s history.
As the BIG Vision Foundation President I feel that Aponte is very deserving of the honor to be selected by MLB because, “She is an amazing young woman. One of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. She loves both the games of baseball and softball and plays with passion and purpose every time that she steps on the field. Our organization is honored to have her as part of the BIG Vision Family.
By Dan Clouser