José Márquez speaks about his foundation, which prepares for a ‘Make Believe’ program

 “El Mañana de la Mexicana,” the Spanish for “Fatherland” in Spanish, is barely accessible in New York City but it’s no longer a secret. Former Major League Baseball manager Tony La Russa has founded The Tony La Russa Baseball Program, giving back to the communities he grew up in and emulating the old-school grind and guts of pro baseball’s founders.

La Russa is currently in Miami for his most recent venture: The Tony La Russa Baseball Foundation, which provides scholarships to kids from underserved communities and anyone looking to play baseball in New York City. The foundation, says La Russa, “gives back to the community at large and puts them on an even playing field.” Since its inception in 2007, he’s awarded over $1.7 million, and has partnered with the New York Mets on a number of new programs.

In a press release, La Russa said:

“I am proud to be able to champion and encourage a ‘Make Believe’ program which gives high school kids the opportunity to continue on their trajectory with a gift like this. It is the foundation’s mission to raise awareness, deepen participation and help build bridges that will help us all play a role in each other’s development. That is why they are named after myself and the Miami Marlins great Herb Score.”

La Russa says he plans to apply those principles of baseball to Philadelphia Flyers organization, where he will be teaching a course later this summer.

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