Jack, His Drug Dealer & The Kids!

Jack’s 59 years old and struggled off and on with addiction for almost 20 years. Eight months ago he came to our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program willing to make some life-changes.

Always a sports enthusiast, in his younger days Jack umpired and refereed in numerous sports. He loved being around the game!

But he also loved his drugs…and his drug dealer!

So, when a game started going too long and he might be late meeting his dealer, Jack began to call balls as strikes, safe as out and would let fouls go — anything necessary to end the game and help him make his hook-up.

Working his recovery, Jack got a 12 Step home group and sponsor. As he began contemplating his 8th and 9th Step amends, Jack thought about all those kids he cheated by not calling games as he knew he should.

Of course, today he had no idea how to find them and man-up to his injustices. But his sponsor said to work with kids now and be an honest referee or umpire. “You can make amends to those kids by treating these kids right,” he told Jack.

So, after the civil unrest here in Baltimore last month, we began discussing what we could do for children in our Helping Up Mission neighborhood here in east Baltimore.

Jack suggested a pick-up wiffle ball league — and he wanted to umpire!

So we bought some balls and bats and our maintenance department made 3 bases, home plate and a pitcher’s rubber. Jack started gathering players on Memorial Day.

The plan is — we’re going to make in difference here in the community…and Jack’s going to make amends to a whole lot of kids!