BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Major League Baseball’s HBCU ‘PLAY BALL’ Series helps ensure that all boys and girls have the chance to enjoy America’s pastime.

The event, which was free for children ages 5–12, was held at Joe Cannon Stadium, home to Coppin State’s Baseball team, where some of the players ran the kids through a few drills before their game vs. Norfolk State.

READ MORE: Ferguson And Jones Downplay Possibility Of Special Session For Gas Tax, Blame Oil Companies

“Really it’s about introducing kids to the game,” Major League Baseball’s Baseball & Softball Development Vice President David James said. “Now there’s going to be a lot of kids here that already play but really we’re also focusing on kids who don’t play.”

Through fun activities, the series shows how baseball and softball can be played anywhere and by anyone.

“I was just thinking, if I really wanted to get myself out there, baseball would be my choice,” Christian Hawthorne said. “So that’s when I came out here, and I’m just out there to have fun and get some home runs.”

READ MORE: Montessori Public Charter School In Baltimore No Longer On Lockdown After Threat Called In

Sherman Reed, the head coach of Coppin State University, said the series is an opportunity to give back to the youth of Baltimore, particularly the kids that look up to them as heroes.

“I remember when I was a kid and I was going to baseball camps or little league games, and it sparked my interest in baseball more than other sports,” Coppin State Outfielder Matthew Day said.

Even former Oriole all-star center fielder and A. L. Rookie of the Year Al Bumbry spent some time with the kids.

MORE NEWS: Maryland Weather: Cool & Cloudy With Some Sunshine

“Anytime I get the opportunity to maybe influence the young kids in terms of playing baseball, I’m more than happy to do that,” he said.

Sean Streicher