Reinebold's Field of Dreams for Rounding Third Foundation

If you've been around South Bend and baseball long enough, you've heard the name Reinebold a lot over the years.

From Jim Reinebold, a long time coach at Clay High School, who still runs a fall camp for high school kids to his son, Joel, who coached alongside his father. Then coached at Bremen, Adams and Penn. He's now the head groundskeeper for the South Bend Silver Hawks and part owner of the School of Hard Knocks.
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You could say baseball is part of the Reinebold genetic makeup.

And it's a passion that took Joel to Jamaica this week to share his love of the game with kids who might otherwise never get a chance to play.
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Before leaving Monday, Reinebold talked about avday last August when he was thinking about where he wanted to go for his Christmas vacation. Jamaica came to mind, but he also wondered whether he could combine a little R & R with his favorite past time, baseball.
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He says he went online and found, "They had an organization that was trying to start baseball up there and I got in contact with them and the day after Christmas I am walking their field, if you want to call it that."
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Joel describes that field in Little London, outside Negril, that he visited.

"To be honest it was more like a goat pasture than a baseball field. There were wrens in the outfield eating. There was a goat walking across the outfield. The backstop was about knee high and they didn't even have bases out there."
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Reinebold returned to Jamaica in March and was asked to put together a team of athletes, aged 12 and under, to compete in the Latin American Playoffs in July. And he says the competition will be stiff, "They're going up against guys from Aruba, Carousel, the Dominican. So they're in for some pretty rough competition."
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But he says once he got to meet the kids he was excited. "They took me to an area near Negril, called Little London, and I got a change to see some of the kids actually play and their athletic ability is outstanding."
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But they were playing without the fancy bats and cleats kids in the U.S. are used to according to Reinebold who goes on the say, "The kids were playing barefoot because they had one pair of shoes and they took off their shoes so they wouldn't ruind their shoes and went out on the field and played. I went down with about a dozen gloves and gave to them. They had painted four rockets white to be used as bases."
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Reinebold knew in order to make an impact he would need to create a foundation which he, along with former Silver Hawks General Manager John Baxter, T. J. Wohlever and Brian Grupp did. It's called Rounding Third.
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Reinebold explains their goal: "Rounding Third is basically a non profit that we put together to whomever wants to improve their baseball situation, whether it be working on their fields or trying to get them supplies ans teaching them, or coaching and holding clinics."

This week in Jamaica Reinbold is working on hitting and fielders, Wohlever is the pitching coach and Grupp the catchers.
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For Wohlever, now assistant grounds keeper at the Cove, who has played pro ball but nursed a number of injuries, it's a way to give back from a game that's been good to him. He was anxious to work with the kids saying, "It's a great experience. He (Joel) explained to me it's going to be different. These kids are running around barefoot, they're throwing rocks instead of baseball."

So why is it so important for Reinebold to bring baseball to Jamaica? He says, "I love working with kids, that's one of the reasons I went into coaching and two, it's enjoyable to work with people who want to learn. Working with these kids, who want to learn to see their smiles--it's a lot of fun."
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So will he be there in July if his team advances to the little league world series? "I hope so. It would be fun if we can put the funding together and put the finishing touches on it and see how they do. I would love to go down there. It's just how it plays out. The whole idea is to improve baseball, not just here, but in other places too. This is one of our first projects, in Jamaica."
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If Ray Kinsella could build a Field of Dreams in a fantasy-drama filmed In Iowa, Reinebold hopes he along with the Rounding Third Foundation can build one in real life for underprivileged kids." And he hopes Jamaica is just the start. The foundation also hopes to help kids in the South Bend area who for whatever reason haven't been able to play ball.
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if you'd like to help Rounding Third you can make donations of equipment or cash to:
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ROUNDING THIRD FOUNDATION
P.O. BOX 11518
SOUTH BEND, IN 46634
or email:
jreinebold@silverhawks.com}
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