PEORIA, Ill. — Jim Thome wants to see the game of baseball grow.
So he passed out free gloves and baseballs to kids from Peoria’s Boys and Girls Club on Thursday at Dozer Park. Then he played catch with those kids on the field.
Thome’s visit was a part of ‘Grassroots Baseball,’ a program dedicated to promoting and celebrating the amateur game around the globe, with a focus on growing interest and participation at the youngest levels.
Grassroots Baseball, founded by Jeff Idelson and Jean Fruth, is launching with a Route 66 Tour that will feature Hall of Famers and other retired major league Route 66 stars who will deliver instruction, inspiration and equipment to children in 12 communities across the country. Idelson, the retiring Baseball Hall of Fame president, and Fruth, an acclaimed baseball photographer, were also on hand Thursday.