Coppin State University baseball player Aaron Rea throws a pitch. Photo courtesy of Coppin Sports/Instagram.

Coppin State University’s baseball team is partnering with the Baltimore Orioles and Major League Baseball to teach children about baseball and softball.

The baseball teams will host a free event for children ages 5-12 on Saturday, April 9, at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover, the home field of the Coppin State Eagles. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the event will start at 9 a.m.

The event is part of MLB’s “Play Ball” series, which aims to support historically Black colleges and universities’ (HBCUs) baseball and softball programs while engaging Black community members.

“Baseball is a wonderful sport that has brought generations of people and communities together, for decades” Coppin State University President Anthony L. Jenkins said in a statement. “Our goals in this partnership are to allow our student-athletes to share their love of baseball and allow the next generation to aspire to follow their example: following their passion, playing sports at the collegiate level, and maintaining a commitment to academic excellence. Our hope is that Coppin State will one day have a field where we can host home games and more youth-engagement events that could bring more people to our campus to visit, to study, and pursue a Division I athletic career.”

During Saturday’s event, players and coaches will instruct the children on drills and other skill-building activities.

The children will each take home a free “Play Ball” t-shirt, wristband, and bat and ball set. They and their families will also be able to stay and watch the Coppin State Eagles’ doubleheader against Norfolk State University at noon that day.

“We are so excited to have been selected by Major League Baseball to host this signature event in collaboration with the Baltimore Orioles,” Coppin State University baseball head coach Sherman Reed said in a statement. “Coppin State Baseball has fostered a culture of community engagement within our program. Our student-athletes are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile activity for our youth. The earlier we can capture kids by introducing them to the great game of baseball and softball, the better the chance we have of getting them hooked.”

Major League Baseball relaunched its Play Ball Series in March after a coronavirus-related hiatus.

“Pre-COVID, we had plans to hit almost a dozen HBCUs,” said David James, Major League Baseball’s vice president for baseball and softball development, in a statement. “And then, obviously, the world changed a little bit. We’re getting back to this early in the season and making sure that we go to communities where we don’t necessarily play and make sure that we come to these communities and give kids an opportunity to participate in our sport.”

Space is limited, so families should visit to reserve a spot for their child.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at