Jesse Litsch Happy to Help Kids in Tampa Bay Area
During the baseball offseason, many major leaguers are preparing for spring training or working out in hopes of signing a contract with a team. Pitcher Jesse Litsch wants to get back to the majors someday in the near future, but spent his offseason on his first priority: helping out children in need with the Jesse Litsch and Bechtel Financial Celebrity Golf Classic in Florida.
“It’s definitely an event that we love to do. Something that I like to do, that I’ve always loved to do is give back to the kids. Me and Kevin Bechtel are able to have this event every year, this is the fourth annual. Last year we were able to take care of a lot of kids and do a lot of things in the community that we weren’t able to do in prior years so everything’s getting better every year in and out,” Litsch told Jared Ginsberg and Victor Green of Class Act Sports in February at the fourth annual outing.
Litsch partners with Bechtel Financial for ‘Bikes for Kids’ which has donated over 400 bikes and helmets to children in Pinellas County, Fla. He also donates the rest of the money made during the tournament to the YMCA, which helps children in many ways.
“Just being able to see what the money goes to. We are out there, we are able to go and give them money personally, to see what the kids are doing, to be able to get the kids in summer camp. To take care of the kids with cancer, it’s something that we pride ourselves in. That is the one thing that we said from day 1. All of the money is going to go back and that’s how we’ve done it so far,” he said.
The fourth year of the event raised more money and helped more kids than ever. It was also the nicest weather that Litsch has ever had at his outings.
“That’s definitely one thing we have been talking about all day. We have been looking at the weather the last 10 days whenever we could see it on the weather channel. Now that we are out here, this is the best weather we have had in all the years…Sun is a great thing. I don’t see a cloud in the sky,” Litsch told Class Act Sports.
Litsch broke into the major leagues with the Blue Jays in 2007. He won his first-ever start, a 2-1 victory over the Orioles and went 27-27 in five seasons with Toronto. A shoulder injury forced him to miss the entire 2012 season and he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since, but the drive still remains, although that’s not what was on his mind on this day.
“First and foremost, your fans are what drive you. To be able to come back and give back to the community is always a plus. This is something that makes me want to get back there on the field to be able to do stuff like this. For the surgery I had, at this point, I don’t care. It’s one of those things where, we are out here and we are trying to take care of the kids. I’ve been blessed with what I’ve done and I’ve done a lot. Hopefully I get back, but at this point, we are out here for the kids and the kids are No. 1 right now,” Litsch told Class Act Sports.