Two young men from New York City, Max and Nathan Murray, have been able to impact the lives of many of our Detroit PAL athletes through their hard work and dedication to helping others.
In 2013, Max Murray decided to do a community service project for his Bar Mitzvah. Max’s grandfather had been a big Detroit Tigers fan, dating back to when Hank Greenberg became the first Jewish player in Major League Baseball. He passed his love of the Tigers onto his grandkids. Max decided he wanted to help baseball players in Detroit have the same opportunities to play as he did. He found Detroit PAL and was connected with a baseball team; the Detroit PAL Nationals. Max worked hard to get baseball equipment donated from all around the world for the Nationals. Max and his family were even able to meet the team when his family made their annual visit to Detroit.
Now two years later, Nathan Murray decided that he wanted to help the Detroit PAL Nationals as well. Working with his family, he created a Facebook page and an Amazon wish list to benefit Detroit PAL. His hard work paid off when donations started coming in; cleats, catching equipment, gloves, helmets, bats, and more.
However, this year, the project went further. The Murray family invited the entire Detroit PAL Nationals team to New York City for a weekend of sightseeing and baseball. The Nationals were able to fundraise to get to New York and the Murray family helped secure families to act as hosts for the Nationals while they were there.
The Murray family did a lot of work planning an amazing weekend for the visiting Nationals. The boys were able to take in a Mets game at Citi Field, go on the Staten Island Ferry, and explore different places all over the city! On Saturday, the Nationals even faced off against the West Side Little League 12U team at Riverside Park. The coaches of both teams and the umpires agreed that the best way to play this game was to mix up the two teams and have them play together. “It was a wonderful event for everyone involved in it, spectators like me included!” said Joe Basile, father of a West Side Little Leaguer, “I hope this game is the start of a tradition.”
Detroit PAL cannot thank the Murray family enough. The hard work they put into these projects has given one of our baseball teams the opportunity to play baseball with proper equipment that they would not have had otherwise. It has also been a great opportunity to show the kids of Detroit PAL a new city and connect two teams from different parts of the country. The boys from New York and Detroit PAL have made lasting memories and friendships from this experience, that all started with a Bar Mitzvah project.