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SEATTLE — Mariners third-base coach Manny Acta will receive the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award next month at the 17th annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York, the MLB Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced on Monday.
The award, which will be presented on Nov. 15, is given to a current or former Major Leaguer who “exemplifies the unselfish and humble attitude of Brooks Robinson, bettering the lives of the youth in his community.”
Previous winners include Clint Hurdle, Adam Jones, Jamie Moyer, Jim Thome and Tim Wakefield.
Acta, 47, founded the impACTA Kids Foundation, launched in November 2007, to provide kids in both the United States and Dominican Republic with opportunities to achieve their dreams by emphasizing the importance of education, health and athletics.
The MLBPAA has hosted Legends for Youth Clinics in conjunction with Acta and his foundation in the Dominican Republic since 2011.
Acta has also spent time tutoring his fellow Spanish-speaking players and is known to emphasize the importance of learning the English language. Acta coached and managed in the Major Leagues between 2002-12, then worked as an ESPN analyst before returning to coaching this past season with the Mariners.
Acta, who managed the Nationals from 2007-09 and the Indians from 2010-12, will be working this offseason as the vice president of the Aguilas Cibaenas club in the Dominican Winter League.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB
Manny Acta, president of the Impacta Kids Foundation, inaugurated the fourth training Little League baseball field in the municipality Consuelo, San Pedro de Macoris city in the Dominican Republic.
The stadium was named after the late baseball player and pride of the Municipality of Consuelo, Rafael (El Gallo) Batista. The dugouts are also marked with the names of former military baseball players, Guillermo Arrendel (Aranda) and Miguel Peguero Fabian.
In the opening ceremony, the Batista family appreciated the gesture of Manny Acta in recognizing Mr. Batista. Also, Guillermo Arrendel as well as Miguel Fabian thanked the distinction.
Manny Acta, meanwhile, visibly moved, stressed the qualities of Rafael Batista, as a human being and his major impact in the winter ball season in the Dominican Republic.
With the opening of this training field, The Impacta Kids Foundation, chaired by Manny Acta, has already built four baseball fields for the use and enjoyment of the Little League baseball.
In the past baseball fields such as the ”Sammy Sosa”, “Rico Carty”, “Julio Cesar Franco”, as well as the “Alfredo Griffin” school were opened in these same grounds.
The Rafael Batista baseball field has a dimension of 150 feet 165 and 150, where children ranging from 9 to 11 years of age will have the chance to practice some baseball while having a good time.
For the fourth consecutive year, Manny Acta, President of Impacta Kids Foundation, the Players Major League Baseball Players Association taught some baseball fundamentals to more than 400 children in the municipality of Consuelo, San Pedro de Macoris.
The meeting was held in the Manny Acta Sports and Educational field, who currently has the Sammy Sosa, Rico Carty, Julio Cesar Franco fields as well as the Alfredo Griffin school.
Among the players who participated in the clinic were Emilio Bonifacio, Esmil Rogers, as well as former players Julio Cesar Franco, Alfredo Griffin, Luis Mercedes, Francisco Morales, Andres Santana, Hector Eduardo, Alberto Lois, Beban Roy Luis, Juan Ramón Bernhardt (Moncho).
After the clinic was finished, the hundreds of kids received a delicious lunch, and spa in the recreation center “El Compadre”, which is located on the outskirts of the municipality Consuelo.
Acta, who is far from being a native Clevelander, has taken his love of life into the Cleveland community; a community he has embraced since becoming manager of the Indians in 2010. In the past month alone, Manny has impacted lives in more ways than one.
Prior to a recent game, Manny took time away from his family and his busy schedule to visit University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in downtown Cleveland. He visited with nearly 20 sick children and made it a point to talk with each of them for a few minutes as a group and individually, to add a personal touch.
Along with chatting and taking photos, Manny brought goodie bags for each child and made sure to autograph anything and everything they wanted. He even signed enough items for them to take home to their siblings!
Before leaving the hospital, Acta reinforced the message to each child that they were going to be okay and to stay positive. That undeniably, positive attitude stuck with the children as they all went back to their rooms with smiles on their faces.
Manny Acta wasn’t done yet! You see, Manny also has a foundation of his own called the ImpACTA Kids Foundation. He launched the foundation in 2007 and its focus is to provide opportunities for kids to achieve their dreams, both in the Dominican Republic and the United States, by emphasizing the importance of education, health and athletics.
The ImpACTA Kids Foundation partnered with Cleveland Indians Charities to host the 2nd Annual Celebrity Bowling Fundraiser. Fans had the opportunity to purchase a bowling team where they could bowl with 5 of their friends and a Cleveland celebrity. The funds raised from the event went towards providing scholarship opportunities for kids in Cleveland, building homes in Acta’s native country of the Dominican Republic and to help other needy children in both areas.
Mark Shapiro, Indians President, Paul Dolan, CEO, and numerous members of the active roster were also on hand to bowl, sign autographs and take photos with the fans. .
“It’s really great and all it takes is a couple of hours of your time to come out here and interact with people and have fun,” said Indians pitcher Vinnie Pestano when asked about the event.
Manny was pleased with the turnout. “I grew up in a very poor community, and my dream was that if I was ever in a position to help out, I was going to. Everyone’s support shows that people really care, and are really willing to make an impact in other people’s lives.”
Sounds to me like Manny’s contagious attitude strikes again!
For more information on the ImpACTA Kids Foundation and Cleveland Indians Charities, go to www.impactakids.org and www.indians.com/community, respectively.
Proceeds help provide scholarships in Cleveland, build homes in Dominican
By Zack Meisel / MLB.com
CLEVELAND — The Indians threw some strikes during Thursday’s off- day.
Riding an eight-game losing streak, the club returned to Cleveland in time for Manny Acta’s second annual charity bowling fundraiser. The event, run by the ImpACTA Kids Foundation, is used to provide scholarship opportunities to kids in Cleveland, build homes in Acta’s native country, the Dominican Republic, and help other needy children in both areas.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s happening at this time, the way things are with our baseball club,” Acta said. “But we just want to give back to our fans. Unfortunately, it’s probably not the happiest time for them, but we’re here doing our part, and it’s a great time for our players to come out here and mingle with our fans.”
This year, some of the money raised went toward a new ambulance for the Dominican.
“That’s going to be very helpful for the people back home,” Acta said. “Part of the proceeds from this is going to go toward shipping it down there to the people that really need it.”
A slew of Indians players and front-office executives attended the event, including CEO Paul Dolan, president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti. Jack Hannahan, Lou Marson,
Jason Donald, Carlos Santana and a collection of teammates and coaches joined. The Cleveland celebrities bowled with and signed autographs for fans, who were treated to dinner, drinks and a raffle.
Justin Masterson, widely regarded in the home clubhouse as the team’s best bowler, said his fortune on the lanes has rivaled his tough luck on the mound.
“Lately, my luck in bowling has been the same,” Masterson said. “I’m good at knocking down all but one pin. I keep getting a bunch of nines.”
Masterson said it’s easier to throw a strike on the mound than to bowl one, adding that knocking down 10 pins is more rewarding than hitting his catcher’s mitt one time.
“If you do the little dance after you throw a strike in baseball, or even if you strike somebody out and do a little dance, I don’t think people would like it,” the 6-foot-6 right-hander said. “But if you get three strikes in bowling, you have to do the turkey dance. Maybe I should start doing the turkey dance on the mound.”
Masterson, referencing a turkey, or a stretch of three consecutive strikes, appreciated the opportunity to assist Acta in his fundraiser.
“Manny does a great job of helping people out,” Masterson said. “When it comes to his home in the Dominican, but also here in the States, he loves the game of baseball and has such a heart to impact kids’ lives.”
Last year, the event fell on the day the Indians acquired franchise favorite Jim Thome, the club’s all-time home run leader. This season, it comes amid a stretch during which the Indians have lost 21 of 25. Acta was glad to have a distraction for the evening.
“I don’t think anything can take my mind off baseball,” he said. “It’s obviously my job and my passion. It’s great to have a day off and to have an event like this. Players will be able to come out and relax. We always say that baseball is our job and our passion, but it’s not our life. This is a really good event where we try to give back to our fans and connect with them, and it’s also for a good cause.”
The ImpACTA Kids Foundation hosted its annual charity fundraiser at the Corner Alley on East 4th Street on Thursday, as it raised money to support causes in the Cleveland area and abroad.
Proceeds of the event supported two scholarships for local students, as well as the continued development of Manny Acta’s baseball academy and educational center in the Dominican Republic. Indians players and other local celebrities were on hand to interact with fans and support the foundations efforts.
The latest recipient of the foundation’s college scholarship was Halle Herringshaw, who graduated from Chardon High School last spring will attend John Carroll University this fall with the help of the scholarship fund.
“It’s absolutely great what Manny does and what the whole fundraiser does,” said Herringshaw. “It helps with a lot of college expenses. I’m going for Anesthesiology so I have a lot of years ahead of me of schooling so a scholarship really helps, and this is a really big one that helped me and relieved stress in applying for schools.”
The scholarship was a very pleasant surprise for her, she explained: “I was actually at work and my Mom called me and said, ‘Oh we’re going to the Indians game on Tuesday, you won the scholarship’ and I couldn’t believe it. I was really thrilled when I found out.”
In addition to the scholarship, the foundation has raised money to send an ambulance to the Dominican Republic to improve the health conditions of the local community.
Indians Pitcher Vinnie Pestano was one of many players on hand to support the ImpACTA Kids foundation. “They raise enough money to send an ambulance over there and they’ve got a great facility over there to keep them occupied and away from doing other stuff,” said Pestano. “It’s really great and all it takes is a couple hours of your time to come out here and interact with people and have some fun.”
The foundation was started in 2007, and this was the second year it held its fundraiser at the Corner Alley. Acta was very grateful for the community’s support of the event, and for the opportunity to support his childhood home.
“I grew up in a very poor community, and my dream was that if I was ever in a position to help out, I was going to,” said Acta. “Everyone’s support shows that people really care, and are really willing to make an impact in other people’s lives.”
– TribeVibe contributor Max Lom
Manny Acta took his coaching off the field and paid a visit to University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in downtown Cleveland on Friday.
Acta visited with nearly 20 sick children at the hospital, greeting each child individually and chatting for several minutes.
Acta spent time discussing each child’s softball and baseball careers, encouraging them to continue working hard at the sport. Dressed in his Indians jersey, he covered topics from coloring with crayons to fashion with these children, who provided everyone in the room with a fresh perspective on life.
One particular little girl ran out of her room once she heard the news early Friday morning.
“There is a special visitor who came to see you outside in the hallway,” one nurse told her.
The little girl recognized Acta immediately and beamed when Acta commented, “I love your footies.”
A teenage boy, who rarely steps out of the room for visitors, came out of his room without hesitation after the nurse told him Acta was present.
Each patient on the floor received an Indians bag with goodies, including a baseball and — the highlight for most kids — a foam Indians finger for pencils and pens.
Acta offered to sign all jerseys, hats, bags, and stationary for the kids and their families, even suggesting that they bring an autograph home to their siblings.
Before leaving the hospital, Acta pulled each child aside and, like a Major League Baseball manager would, coached them and assured them that everything was okay.
“Everything is going to be okay,” he said to one young girl.
She replied, “I know, I am trying to get better.”
Acta, shaking his head at her, said, “Don’t try; just trust me that everything is going to be okay. Stay positive.”
-Megan Golden, TribeVibe contributor
Manny Acta’s ImpACTA Kids Foundation’s annual scholarship program seeks to positively change the lives of two young scholars from the Cleveland area.
But every year, as he looks over the essays submitted by hopeful students, Acta can’t help but feel impacted himself. What he finds are stories of kids overcoming physical or financial difficulty or kids who simply never fail to put in the extra time and attention necessary to become aces in the classroom.
This year, Acta was blown away by the submissions of two young women — Twanisha Taylor of Maple Heights and Halle Herringshaw of Chardon. Both met the scholarship’s requirements — a grade-point average of at least 3.3, enrollment in a four-year university with a plan to major in the field of science, technology or business — but both had stories of experiences that went above and beyond.
“These girls,” Acta said, “are awesome.”
Taylor and Herringshaw each received a $2,500 scholarship as they prepare for their first year of college. Taylor plans to study biomedical engineering at Ohio Wesleyan University, while Herringshaw is enrolled to study biology at John Carroll University.
In her essay, Taylor, said she has known she wants to study biochemical engineering since her sophomore year at MC2STEM High School, where she became one of the startup school’s first graduating seniors. As part of a school project, Taylor, who finished school with a 4.3 GPA, helped create a survey that tested her school’s obesity rate, a presentation that included the Chinese language and an artificial heart using a motor.
“I have been hooked on a career in engineering ever since,” Taylor wrote.
Herringshaw was a member of the Chardon High School community that grieved in the aftermath of the school’s terrible February tragedy. She’s also endured personal difficulty, having been diagnosed with scoliosis that left her in constant back pain. Herringshaw had to make the decision whether to live with the pain or undergo a difficult and dangerous surgical procedure to repair the curve in her back.
“I knew the risks of the surgery included paralysis, extensive nerve damage and a possible shortened life expectancy,” Herringshaw wrote. “I also knew two eight-inch metal rods and 14 two-inch screws would be new residents to my body. Without the risk, though, there was no room for improvement and plenty of room for regret.”
She went through with the surgery and two months of difficult recovery. Now, Herringshaw, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, hopes to be an inspiration to others, just as a young woman named Jane, who has muscular dystrophy and is permanently handicapped, was an inspiration to her during her recovery.
“I realize how truly extraordinary life is and that it should never be taken for granted,” Herringshaw wrote. “Life is too short to not be thankful for every single day that I can move with ease, breathe with certainty and love compassionately.”
Words to live by.
The ImpACTA Kids Foundation, whose president is Manny Acta, with support from the Major League Baseball and the
Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, celebrated yesterday,
saturday, it’s third training for low-income youth, at the Cocolos Complex terrain
of the Ingenio Consuelo in San Pedro de Macorís. The activity, headed by Acta
himself and which I had the honor of attending, offered free education to more
than 300 adolescents in different fields of the previously mentioned baseball
Active players like Robinson Canó, second baseman of the New York Yankees
and Ubaldo Jiménez, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, and former players Juan
Ramón Bernhardt, Héctor Eduardo, Andrés Santana and Francisco Morales
participated as instructors.
Manny worked with all participants of the event, rotating them in
groups of 20 to 25 boys, dedicating 15 minutes to each group, in which he
talked to them about the proper execution of the fundamentals of baseball. In
a conversation with reporters who covered the activity, Acta said he is pleased
with the support he has received to conduct the trainings. He expressed that he
has held the event for its third consecutive year, taking place just after the winter
meetings of the major league organizations conclude, which in 2011 were held in
the city of Dallas.
He revealed that on Thursday of next week a third field will be opened in the
Cocolos Complex terrain, which will bear the name of former baseball star Julio
César Franco. Presently, the complex has two baseball fields called Sammy
Sosa and Rico Carty, and a multipurpose indoor facility, which was given the
name of Alfredo Griffin.
Sosa, Carty, Griffin and Franco are natives of Ingenio Consuelo, as well as
Acta, who pays tribute to these outstanding personalities of the community by
recognizing them and naming the various facilities after these heroes.
A fourth stadium to be called Rafael Batista, another former native star of Ingenio
Consuelo, is also planned to be opened soon.
The land in which the Cocolos Complex Terrain is located was donated to the
ImpACTA Kids Foundation in 2007, by the Sugar State Council and the Ministry
of Sports, in an area that belonged to the now inexistent Consuelo Mill.
The leader of the Cleveland Indians revealed that since then the construction of
the sports infrastructure began, destined to benefit the children and youth of his
Hundreds of children
Currently from 300 to 400 children and young boys go to
the Complex to practice baseball, which is of great satisfaction to Acta because
as he said himself “if these guys didn’t have this place to come train, they would
probably dedicate their time to unhealthful activities.”
In the Alfredo Griffin multipurpose center, there are classrooms where children
study and do daily tasks. They must conclude these tasks in order to play
baseball. The Save the Children Foundation is assisting in the functioning of the
classrooms and the acquisition of computers.
In this building they also have volunteer teachers who teach at no cost.
Regarding the motives that have led him to build this Complex,
Acta notes that “since young I swore that if I had the opportunity, I would come
help my people of Ingenio Consuelo.” “I always thought that the big issue that
our country faces is people’s lack of education and that’s why I wanted to help
change that,” he said.
He added that “this is a problem that will be resolved in a long term basis, that’s
why we must begin now, so we can have a different nation.”
This work that has been carried out by Manny Acta for his
people, deserves recognition from everyone. How different would our country be
if we followed his example.
M.E. Guerrero (Listin Diario)