Although Toby Hall found a new baseball residence with the White Sox and devotes time to good causes in the Chicago area, the catcher's helping hand will always be firmly rooted in Tampa.
02/05/2008 12:43 PM ET
Hall is making Tampa a better place
By George Castle / Special to MLBPLAYERS.com
That's where Hall distinguished himself for a half a decade with the Rays, and it's a place he calls home.
The first order of business was establishing the local version of Camp Erin, a network of bereavement camps for children spearheaded by Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer.
"They're trying to accomplish this goal for each city, and they contacted me in Chicago," Hall said. "We said we would take care of the Tampa part. It's easier for us to take care of it in the offseason. We'll do our best down there.
"When you really look at it and put it in perspective, it's kind of mind-boggling. You can't imagine what some kids go through to lose some loved ones, not know where to go for it. This will give them an opportunity to share stories with kids who've gone through the same problems."
Hall also has established his own foundation in Tampa. His first cause is helping out with building "Miracle League" fields so that wheelchair-bound players can play baseball and softball.
"The important thing is to build a baseball field that's handicapped-accessible and a flat stadium where wheelchairs can go around," Hall said. "Just so they can go out there and not worry about a (non-disabled-accessible) surface."
Hall has no specific cause that he pursues. That's why he's so flexible in adopting programs that are presented to him.
"It's just helping out, giving back and doing the best we can when we're fortunate enough to do so," he said. "It's building something where down the road generations can keep using it."
Hall's foundation is singular in its baseball roots. Most of the Devil Rays players are young and thus haven't yet established themselves in the community.
"It's mainly joining up with the football and hockey players to attain that goal," Hall said. "This will be one offseason where we can stretch some things more, and get some players (involved) who have stopped playing and live down there."
-- Red Line Editorial