By: Athletic Communications Assistant, Dustin Parker
BEREA, Ohio – As a child, junior Luke Razzante (Highland Heights/Mayfield) and his five brothers grew up loving and playing the game of baseball. From the sounds of bats pinging, gloves popping and cleats scraping across the infield, Razzante knew that baseball would be prevalent in his life for years to come.
"My parents, coaches and brothers have given me the opportunity to do what I love," Razzante expressed. "I'm truly blessed."
As a senior at Mayfield High School, Razzante and good friend Jack Hollinshead, had an idea on how to give back and help others through the sport of baseball. From that idea sprouted the My Inner Warrior Foundation. The Inner Warrior Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to provide greater opportunity to inner-city baseball programs through gifting equipment, and fundraising events they organize like holding free-of-charge showcases to under privileged athletes, golf outings, sunset yoga sessions and basketball tournaments.
"That's how My Inner Warrior got started, that passion for baseball and wanting to share it with kids that don't have the same chance as us," Razzante said.
One of the main reasons Razzante loves being part of the foundation is that he gets the chance to give back and help others.
"Seeing kids express pure happiness to be able to play baseball while I coach them is extremely gratifying," Razzante stated. "They may not have the same exposure to coaching as most, but their love for the game is moving."
In the most recent event held this past summer, My Inner Warrior organized the Bauer Outage Wiffle Ball Camp where they had over 100 kids in attendance. After reaching out over twitter and presenting the idea to the former Cleveland Indian pitcher Trevor Bauer, he was all in and came out to Baldwin Wallace University. During the camp they had mini-games, competitions and shared their knowledge with all the kids.
"It makes it all worth it to see those kids with smiles on their faces. The pure joy they show is amazing," Razzante said.
In the upcoming summer, My Inner Warrior has three events. The first is a baseball skills camp that will begin on June 22. On June 24 they are hosting a sunset yoga night, and wrap up the summer with a golf outing on July 27.
In addition the foundation also utilizes the Hit Tracker Program.
The Hit Tracker Program is a donation campaign to get college and high school teams involved with fundraising for inner-city baseball programs. The program allows teams to donate whatever amount they choose for every hit that occurs that season. The money raised helps purchase new equipment for inner-city programs as well as providing exposure to high school athletes to be recruited at the next level. The Baldwin Wallace University baseball program is one of three Ohio colleges that participate in the program, including Wittenberg University and Kenyon College.
Razzante strives to see My Inner Warrior grow, as the impact and opportunities provided to others are priceless. He wants to continue the showcases and increase exposure for under-privileged athletes because most showcases are expensive. With the team put together at My Inner Warrior, Razzante believes that their success can continue for years to come.