A couple of days ago on Saturday morning I attended my nephew's first little league baseball game at Palmer Park in South Miami. At this park, which is less than two miles from the other Division I college baseball team's home field, there were plenty of people clad in the colors of the other Division I college baseball team in this town.
So I was a bit surprised when I saw several FIU baseball players walking across the outfield of one of six the ballfields at this park. Then on another field across there were more FIU baseball players arriving. Eventually, the entire FIU baseball team, in full uniform, descended on the park.
It turns out the Panthers along with coach Turtle Thomas and his coaching staff were there to conduct baseball clinics for the kids. Along with instructing the little leaguers, the Panthers handed out 2013 FIU Baseball schedule posters to all the people, many of them wearing the other Division I college baseball team's gear.
The reaction from the kids, their parents and others on hand was what I thought a surprise. Among the buzz in the crowd, I kept hearing the parents saying "The FIU baseball team is here. That's a great gesture for them to come here and teach the kids."
And you could hear the kids repeating the initials, "F-I-U", for which many of them who just started playing baseball, might have said FIU for the first time.
Now, I'm not saying that the Panthers immediately converted fans of the other Division I college baseball team, nor is that the point of this blog post.
But for FIU to show up and conduct a baseball clinic at a park not too far from the other Division I college baseball team's park and hand out 2013 schedule posters is a step in the right direction. And quite possibly those kids ranging in ages from 4 to 12, who may not have had interaction with a college baseball team before, won't forget that Saturday morning.