HISTORY OF THE KID GLOVE GAME
The first Kid Glove Game was played in 1949 with the Cincinnati Reds hosting the Detroit Tigers at Crosley Field. Some of the prominent Reds' players in 1949 were:
- Ewell Blackwell
- Johnny Vander Meer
- Ted Kluszewski
- Ken Raffensberger
- Herm Wehmeier
- Grady Hatton
- Bobby Adams
- John Wyrostek
- Bobby Adams
- Bucky Walters (Manager)
The games were a dream of Charlie Shear, C.L. Harrison, Eppa Rixey, Elmer Gerwin, and Gabe Paul. For years, the Cincinnati Reds had donated used baseballs and broken wooden bats to amateur baseball teams in the area.
These gentlemen formed the Greater Cincinnati Amateur Baseball Fund and developed the concept of the Kid Glove Game. The amount of money raised in the first year was $7,229. Little did they know at the time that their efforts would lead to raising more than $9.7 million dollars in the next 66 years. In 2014 alone, the committee purchased more that 30,000 baseballs and softballs along with 7,500 other types of baseball and softball equipment for youth in the Tri-State area.
Charlie Shear went on to serve as the Executive Secretary for 35 years and has a baseball field named after him in the Oakley area. Another baseball field at the Schmidt Field complex in Cincinnati’s East End is named after C.L. Harrison.
After Charlie Shear’s retirement, Paul Kramer was named as Executive Secretary of the organization and has served in that position for the last 31 years. He has been honored by having two baseball fields named after him. One is located at the Schmidt Field complex in Cincinnati’s East End (right next to the C.L. Harrison field). The other field is at St. Henry District High School in Erlanger, Kentucky.
In addition to furnishing equipment to baseball and softball teams, the fund has provided funds for the restoration of fields throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.
The Cincinnati Reds have been the generous sponsor of the Kid Glove program for 66 years. Without the Reds, our program would not exist. We continue to offer our sincere thanks to the Reds for their sponsorship of our program.
Any youth team (baseball or softball) is eligible to participate in the Kid Glove Game program.
The Powel Crosley, Jr. Amateur Baseball Fund is indebted to the original five members for their dream that has become more than a reality in helping more than 40,000 youngsters every year.
As our Motto says “Help a Kid play amateur baseball and softball!