Washington College Magazine

Betting on Baseball

  • Boston, MA, June 21, 2012: (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox)
    Boston, MA, June 21, 2012: (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox)
    Boston Red Sox
April 12, 2013
Sports historian Mike Ginns ’94 believes that sports are a powerful force.

He and his business partner, Michael Schell, created a foundation that not only honors the memory of one of history’s most influential Negro baseball players, but also provides opportunities for students from under-served communities to pursue a college education through baseball.

Ginns, a former political science major now working as a program specialist for the Administration for Children and Families in Boston, is co-founder of The Cannonball Foundation. The foundation honors and sustains the legacy of Will “Cannonball” Jackman and the significant contributions of the New England Negro Leagues to the region’s sports history. 

“We tell of Jackman’s victory over cultural adversity to inspire young underprivileged athletes to realize their potential,” says Ginns. “The Cannonball Prospects are an independent team of 20 high school boys throughout Massachusetts and New England who commit themselves to baseball and preparing for college. In exchange for the tournament play, college counseling and financial aid counseling, the players are required to give back through one of our community service partners.”

Although Ginns didn’t play baseball at Washington College, he is a huge baseball fan and had a lot of friends on the varsity team. He credits Washington College for helping launch his own career, and gives props to classmate Tom Obara ’95 who, Ginns says, was instrumental in helping Cannonball secure a grant from Major League Baseball’s “Baseball Tomorrow Fund.”

“The College’s emphasis on writing has been critical to my success on the job and to our foundation work,” he says. “We need to communicate effectively with people across disciplines and get them interested in partnering, donating and volunteering.” 

Visit cannonballfoundation.org for more information.

Last modified on Apr. 17th, 2013 at 9:28am by Otto Borden.