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By Jon Weisman

The latest issue of the Hollywood Reporter, dedicated to philanthropy, includes a feature by Scott Feinberg on the Hollywood Indies Little League, which is supported by Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.

An excerpt:

The largest little league program in L.A. county, HILL was founded in 1994 by lifelong Angeleno and die-hard baseball fan Stan Brooks, 57, the director and Emmy-winning producer (Broken Trail) of many TV films and miniseries, including this year’s The Lizzie Borden Chronicles for Lifetime. “I was sitting in my office 22 years ago and I read an L.A. Times story about how the board of supervisors was cutting funding for parks and rec,” he recalls. “The first thing to go was going to be baseball because it’s such an expensive sport.” …

… Support from the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation — which, through the nationwide RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities) initiative, provides funding, uniforms, equipment, health resources and an annual field trip to Dodger Stadium to take in a game — has been integral to HILL’s success. “The opportunity to use sports to engage kids — kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity or who otherwise really wouldn’t be seen — is intriguing to us,” says Nichol Whiteman, executive director of the Foundation.

Over the years, various members of the Dodgers organization have taken hands-on roles with the league, making opening day appearances, teaching clinics and giving pep talks, including Mike Piazza, Tommy Lasorda, Tim Leary and, most recently, star outfielder Carl Crawford. “I played in RBI programs,” says Crawford, 34, whom the Dodgers acquired from the Red Sox in 2012. (He helped to carry an RBI team from Houston to the 1997 RBI World Series.) “I love being around the kids and I just try to give them words of encouragement. You want to give them the same types of chances that you had.” …

Read the entire story here.