Athletes may consider donating old baseball equipment

All youth athletes own tattered and torn baseball gloves that have been used since the first time they stepped on the baseball diamond. Players may become so accustomed to their baseball equipment that they feel like an extension of their own body. Still, as difficult as it may be to give up old baseball pants and other materials, athletes should replace their old equipment every few years.

To help encourage Massachusetts-area athletes to replace their equipment, Jordan's Furniture, a local retailer, has partnered with the Boston Red Sox to provide used baseball materials to about 2,000 inner-city youth. The 2012 Double Play Youth Baseball program, the second of its kind, will run until April 1.

Jordan's Furniture is accepting baseball equipment, specifically aluminum youth baseball bats, new baseballs and softballs, and other equipment, at its stores in Warwick, Rhode Island, Nashua, New Hampshire, and Taunton, Avon and Reading, Massachusetts.

"In this day and age of pay-to-play, there are thousands of kids that just cannot afford to play sports," Jordan's Furniture president and CEO Eliot Tatelman said in a statement. "We think that every youth should enjoy America's favorite pastime so we created the Double Play Youth Baseball Program. This is the second year and with the help of the Red Sox Foundation, we'll be able to reach a lot of inner-city kids in our area."

From the time athletes begin little league, through high school and college, they will grow significantly. A baseball game can take several hours to complete, and if athletes do not have baseball jerseys and other equipment that fit comfortably, they could make a critical error in the field.

Parents and coaches may considering donating old baseball equipment to programs like the one offered by Jordan's Furniture and then purchasing new equipment for their youth athletes.