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Friends of Baseball (FOB) is a community based organization in Brookings which coordinates and operates local baseball programs for youth ages 9 to 18. The youngest children – ages 9-12 - participate in Little League affiliated baseball. At this level, the focus is placed on developing fundamental baseball skills. Youth ages 13-14 years move to VFW sponsored “Bombers” teams. There are currently three Bomber teams. These teams play 30-40 games a summer, traveling to various towns for games and tournaments. All of the Bomber home games are played at the Mickelson fields. Older youth, age 15-16 years, participate on the VFW sponsored “Bullets” teams. There is one team, “Bandits”, for the oldest players. All Bandits and Bullets level games play their home games at Bob Shelden Field. During the spring, high school age youth have the opportunity to play on the varsity, junior varsity, and freshman level Brookings Bobcat baseball teams. In addition, the Brookings Cubby’s amateur team plays approximately 35 games a year and includes a number of players who were once members of Brookings baseball programs. Everyone is invited to come watch all the games! At each level the players, coaches, parents, FOB board members, and community volunteers are actively involved in making the program a success. Assistance is needed in many capacities. For example, volunteers operate the concessions stands, maintain the baseball uniforms and equipment, maintain the FOB website, schedule games, operate the scoreboard, announce games, coordinate tournaments, schedule umpires etc. Fundraising takes place throughout the year. The local VFW generously donates the profits from its Monday night Bingo games to FOB. The players and their families support this fundraiser by assisting with and playing Bingo on Monday nights. In addition, the VFW graciously allows FOB to use their building and facilities to host fundraising pancake feeds and its monthly board meetings. FOB is very grateful for the commitment the VFW has made to baseball! Because of this support, local youth are able to learn the game of baseball and develop positive traits which will last a lifetime.
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