In 2017 Walk-Off Charities was created with the purpose of introducing the great sport of baseball to children throughout Jacksonville and the First Coast. It launched with an event called The First Pitch, a celebration of baseball at Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Some of Jacksonville’s best restaurants provided food for a crowd of more than 400 and the event was capped off with a celebrity home run hitting contest.
Mayor Lenny Curry kicked off the event by reading a proclamation declaring June 23, 2017 as Walk Off Charities Day. Fans enjoyed a day of sampling great food, watching celebrities try to hit home runs, and some fun taking their own swings on the diamond. Local television sportscaster Brent Martineau won the initial derby, edging former big league player Brett Myers and UNF baseball coach Tim Parenton in the finals.
Most importantly, through the kindness of a number of top companies in Jacksonville, the initial event raised nearly $100,000 to bring baseball to the youth throughout our city. The First Pitch event hopes to become an annual staple in the NE Florida community for years to come!
Stay tuned for information on First Pitch 2019!