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Phillies, MLB funding PAL e-gaming room

Photo courtesy of Major League Baseball

As a part of Major League Baseball’s Fall Classic Legacy initiative, which seeks to repay the cities that host the World Series, the Phillies are donating a new e-gaming room to the 24th District Police Athletic League Center (formerly Frank L. Rizzo PAL), 2524 E. Clearfield St.

The Phillies organization and MLB are pledging $50,000 to the creation of the new space as well as the refreshment of some of the PAL center’s existing areas. PAL is celebrating its 75th year of free education, recreation, character building and cultural development for ages 6-18.

“You start to realize what the culture is, and how important sports, playing off the street, having something to be able to look forward to after school, is,” said Cole Hamels, former Phillies pitcher and 2008 World Series MVP. “I’ve always been a big believer in trying to provide good opportunities for kids, because there is always people that are thinking about them. There’s always hope.”

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw was a part of the Police Explorer program in her youth, and credits her experiences there for helping her view law enforcement in a new light. Now, she sees from a new perspective how that sort of guidance can aid young Philadelphians.

“Our kids receive the support they need to become leaders in their neighborhoods,” Outlaw said. “These centers provide our children with safe, structured and supervised activities. … Truly, PAL provides a safe haven for our kids, in a sometimes very unsafe world … I think this room will provide yet another exciting and structured refuge for our kids, our future leaders.”

Hamels said, “This right here really does show that there’s an importance behind their future, and giving them the tools to be able to achieve their dreams. [When I was a kid] I was fortunate enough to be able to have fields to play sports, the neighborhoods to be able to do so, and having parents that really looked out for us. So when you have that community involvement, that’s what can create the best path for success.”

Others at the Nov. 1 event included Dodgers infielder Justin Turner, recipient of the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award; Phillies radio broadcaster Scott Franzke; and the Phillie Phanatic. ••

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