MLB player and philanthropist Curtis Granderson is one of the very few African-American players in the MLB (only 7.7% of MLB players during the 2019 season were African-American), and wondered if the adversity he has faced in his career could inspire underprivileged youth that are also facing adversity. He wanted to share his challenges as well as honor civil rights trail blazers who paved the way for his own career to motivate children to follow their dreams despite social, racial, or economic adversity. Not sure how to accomplish this, he turned to two of his greatest passions: baseball and civil rights advocacy.
After talking with some of his other African-American MLB colleagues and the MLBPA Players Trust, Curtis realized that many players have roots in diverse underserved communities that lack educational programs for children. He realized that these communities could benefit from a program that teaches kids new skills, confidence, and equality through baseball. Thus, the MLBPA Players Trust DREAM Weekend was born.
Curtis and the other MLB players’ hope is that, through the q&a especially, they’re able to share stories of their personal challenges and overcoming adversity, and inspire the kids to follow their dreams. At the end of the day, hundreds of kids walk away with a new sense of confidence, new athletic skills, and most importantly, new friends and mentors.