Over seventeen years ago the idea was birth. Perhaps many years prior, this idea wore in the minds and hearts of two young men as they recall the days of their youth that Clifford Jordan, Deacon at Second Baptist Church, and Howard Smith, Deacon at St. John Baptist Church, both in their 70's now, enjoyed the guiding hand and faithful service of the older men of their youth. They recall the men who "took time" with them and never gave-up on them. These men proclaim a debt of gratitude for the men of their youth. They declare that through programs like this, they were saved from the despairing plight of many of our young black males in our city and our country. The bible declares, "train a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it", Proverbs 22:6.
The youth of Ypsilanti, Michigan, both male and female, now enjoys the guiding hand and faithful service of both Howard and Clifford as they have faithfully served the Meet Me at Second Base Ministry for the last thirteen plus years. Both men desiring to retire over the past few years, have very vividly expressed their to do so at the end of each season. In fact, the youth, the many adult volunteers who help with crowd-control and provide hotdogs, chips, hamburgers and punch every game; the fans and even the local white resident who supplies free popcorn, all of us; applaud these men with a sense of thank you and fair-well each year. However, as fate would have it, on opening day of the past few years, these old-faithfuls are right there, gathering the bases from the storage room of the beautiful Parkridge Park.
Parkridge Park and Parkridge Community Center serve our city's south side residences. The park and center are positioned next door to Perry School and the recently renovated Hamilton Crossing Apartments on Harriet Street. Perhaps you know where it is. Perhaps as you travel east or west on Interstate 94 near the downtown Ypsilanti exit, you might reflect on us, or even venture to stop in own us on Tuesdays or Thursdays during the summer.
June 20th marks opening day of the 2017 season. Howard and Clifford have served with pride over these past thirteen seasons chalking the base lines, aligning bases and corralling the kids and crowds. We expect to see these two iconic figures right there in place on opening day living out the true meaning of the proverb; not departing from the way. Thank you for stopping and reading about us. Maybe you will even stop to see us and become a part of this great heritage & Meet Me at Second Base.
Sponsoring churches: Second Baptist Church, St. John M.B. Church, New Testament Baptist Church
Sundays @ 10:45 am!