By Liam Morales
Opportunity Through Baseball or “OTB” is a five-week program designed to build self-esteem, develop character, teamwork and commitment through the game of baseball.
Focused on the communities of central and south Phoenix, OTB hopes to make an impact on the kids who might not have the same opportunities as others.
“Our first school was at Griffith Elementary,” AZ Founder and Director Sean Payton said in a recent interview. “Then we moved our way to Larry C. Kennedy and we have six, seven school beyond that to this day.”
Sean Payton has been coaching baseball for 30 years, 20 of which were with the Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Academy. Along with this experience, Payton brings knowledge of the game which he passes on to the kids through the academic portion of OTB.
“Each year I have to change up the curriculum,” Payton said. “Basically it’s the history of the game, baseball vocabulary, the history of Babe Ruth and how Jackie Robinson broke the culture barrier; and more.”
OTB’s staff consists of Payton, Darren Hill and volunteer high school instructors with baseball or softball experience.
After the program is finished the children get to attend a live Diamondbacks game courtesy of the D-backs’ organization.
“We go every year,” Payton said. “It’s just great.”
“These kids mean the world to me,” Payton said. “Every child I come across I learn and grow from everyday… It’s great giving back to the community and making a difference.”
If you are interested in getting involved with this program visit the Opportunity Through Baseball Arizona’s Facebook page and please get in touch with Sean Payton.