KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' annual Baseball Equipment Drive will be held at the Royals-Indians game on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Fans can help by donating new or gently-used equipment outside the Diamond Club from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. CT. It will benefit the baseball program at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School for economically-challenged students. It receives no public funds for its educational programs.
The collection will be done by the wives of shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitcher Luis Mendoza, along with Cristo Rey volunteers. In addition, fans may make cash donations in exchange for autographed photo cards or baseballs.
Cristo Rey began its baseball program in 2009 and it grew slowly until 30 students tried out for the team in 2012 and won the school's first game. This year, 60 students tried out for the team, including many who had not previously played baseball.
Mendoza and Escobar are serving as ambassadors for the Baseball Tomorrow Fund which, prior to Monday night's game, presented a grant of $5,000 to Cristo Rey for the purchase of new equipment.
Since its formation in 1999 by the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball, the fund has awarded more than 700 grants totaling $24 million to organizations in the United States and around the world, benefiting 330,000 youth players.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.