Wisconsin teen's baseball charity is Making A Difference
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- It began as a love for baseball for a Green Bay boy back in 2012.
Five years later, he’s giving others the chance to enjoy the game even if they live halfway around the world.
Max Bobholz is playing American Legion ball for the Green Bay Shockers this summer. But his biggest hit is off the field.
“I can’t remember a kid who has put this amount of time, effort, and energy into an endeavor like this that makes such a great difference,” says Head Coach Andy Conard.
The roots were planted as a 12-year-old. Bobholz was watching the Little League World Series when he saw a team from Uganda become the first squad from Africa to make it that far.
And the story of their ragtag equipment caught his attention.
“Where my heart went was to those kids from Uganda,” says Bobholz.
So he decided it would be a good idea to round up old baseball equipment and ship it to Africa. The notion was simple enough. Putting together a foundation to make it happen was another thing. But a couple of years later, his dream became a reality, with his charity called Angels at Bat.
In the last three years, through friends, family and donations, his charity has provided a bonanza of baseball items to Africa, specifically Kenya.
Gloves, bats, balls, bases, hats, helmets, cleats, uniforms and more, all sent over. Bobholz, now a 17-year-old Preble High School student, has gone over there twice with his family.
It takes a lot of work and energy to start a non-profit, especially for a teenager. But his coaches say the same qualities that make Bobholz a good ballplayer also make him a good human.
“It is amazing to see him grow in this and use his lessons back with the team or in the classroom," says Mike Wittig, the junior varsity coach at Preble. "He’s just a selfless guy, he’s willing to give back, and it’s neat to see."
And Bobholz says there’s no chance of him stopping anytime soon.
“I’m for sure going to continue this for as long as I live and hopefully my future children," says Bobholz. "Try to keep it going as long as possible and grow to be as big as it can.”
When asked why he's so committed, Bobholz says, "It’s kind of got half my heart at this point. The other half is here and the other half is in Kenya.”
Kenyan officials are hoping to field their first-ever Olympic baseball team when the games hit Tokyo in 2020. If they do, some of the credit will likely go to a kid from Green Bay, who will be rooting them on, from the bottom of his heart.