Our chat with Curtis Granderson, President and Founder of the CBEA in Chicago, Illinois.
Former UIC Flame and MLB All Star outfielder, Curtis Granderson, generously donated a sum of $5 million to help fund a $10 million ballpark at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the largest one-time gift from a professional athlete back to their alma mater in history. Curtis Granderson Stadium became the home of the Chicago Baseball & Education Academy. The complex officially opened in 2014 and hosts over 10,000 Chicagoland youth annually at the state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facility.
When was the Chicago Baseball Education Academy founded and what is its mission ?
Founded in 2016, the CBEA is dedicated to providing high quality baseball education and mentoring programs to Chicago youth who may otherwise not have access.
How does the event aim to impact the community?
We provide a year round opportunity for 60 communities in the Chicagoland area to practice, play and train. The impact is first offering these teams/players a way to improve year round, especially in the winter. We also strive to bring communities together from all parts of the city that might not otherwise.
How can people support your organization?
Donations are always welcome and appreciated - https://www.cbeauic.org/take-action
Also spreading the word. Chicagoans love baseball. We have 2 MLB teams and 7 other pro leagues within a one hour radius of the city. The pros all got their start playing somewhere and most were when they were kids. Very similar to the current kids that utilize CBEA. Our goal isn’t to make the next pro player, but to assist and continue to provide opportunities for players looking to improve.
What does "Support Local Baseball" mean to you?
You can support in a number of ways. Dollars being one, but that’s not the only way. As I mentioned above, spreading the word is an easy way to support along with following on social can be impactful.