• Mr. Speaker, I spent a recent hot, sunny day in my district visiting a real life ``Field of Dreams.'' SpringSpirit Baseball near Houston, Texas in Spring Branch is providing opportunities for youth to realize their dreams through sports and mentoring.
  • SpringSpirit's mission is to provide safe pathways for youth to realize life opportunities through sports, education, and mentoring programs based on Christian principles. They create positive mentoring relationships between the education system and families through baseball , softball, soccer, and community programs.
  • It is a place that values integrity, patience, perseverance and respect for the individual.
  • SpringSpirit provides programs combined with the teaching of the gospel designed to grow the mind, body and soul, and they have a first-class sports training and education complex in the heart of the North Spring Branch community. They pair compassionate and caring mentors with local youth, and find life opportunities that can help participants contribute to their community and society and act as stewards for others.
  • Recently, I toured the facility with Executive Director John Meredith, Coach Ben Vigil and a man I like to call the ``Mayor'' of Spring Branch, Mr. Victor Alvarez.
  • I cannot express how impressed I was not only with the facility, but the passion each of these men brings to SpringSpirit Baseball . SpringSpirit grew from humble beginnings at the local Boys and Girls Club to a more than three acre state-of-the-art facility.
  • SpringSpirit was founded by Kenny Baldwin who after playing college baseball at Rice University and professional baseball spent many successful years in the oil and gas industry. He credits his success to strong coaches, loving mentors and faith leaders and wanted to create these same opportunities and relationships for underserved youth.
  • Fostering partnerships with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Camp Ozark, Chapelwood United Methodist Church, Cornerstone Family Ministries, Baseball USA and Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston among others,SpringSpirit can offer afterschool programs, summer camps, and baseball and soccer tournaments.
  • Among SpringSpirit's biggest fans are baseball greats Lance Berkman and Andy Pettitte. Berkman and Pettitte support SpringSpirit by serving as chairs of their annual fundraiser and if you drop by SpringSpirit at just the right time ..... you might be able to catch Lance mentoring some of the kids!
  • Kenny, John, and the entire staff at SpringSpirit Baseball should be commended for their selfless service to the community.
  • Their vision to build a superb facility, offer it to the youth of Spring Branch, and lead by example truly enriches our community and our city.
  • And that's just the way it is.