Bulldogs News · Safe at Home Game – Sat. August 24th


The Safe at Home Game was co-founded by L.E.A.D. and APIVEO.  The game is played between Atlanta inner-city kids and inner-city cops and is intentionally self-officiated.  This unique format serves to open lines of communication between two distinct groups, which fosters mutual understanding and individual bonds between the kids and the cops on AND off the field.

Mission: To initiate, cultivate and foster positive relationships between Atlanta inner-city, Black youth and inner-city police officers in an effort to lessen the divide between them.

Purpose:  To provide a level playing field and safe environment where inner-city, Black youth and inner-city cops can come together in their shared passion for baseball, learn about each other, build a rapport based on earned respect, and affect positive interactions out in their communities afterward.

Game Format:

  • Seven innings
  • The game is intentionally self-officiated. The catcher will make all calls on balls and strikes; the players involved will mutually agree upon all other calls.
  • All other standard baseball rules and regulations apply.

 

We’ve Observed That:  Over time, the connections made through the Safe at Home Game change preconceived notions, and ultimately, individual reactions to each other out in the community.

We Believe That:  The self-officiated aspect of the game and competitive nature of the players promote communication between the opposing players.  We see that sometimes they don’t agree.  When that happens, a natural connection occurs, a decision-making process follows, and a bond begins to form.  Over time players earn each others’ respect.

 

The Safe at Home Game also reveals the goodness in humanity. Our neighborhoods and communities are full of great kids and great cops and the Safe at Home Game shines a light on them and creates a positive image.  Watching kids and cops play a competitive self-officiated game of baseball inspires us.

 

What the Players Think: 

APD Officer:  Had become frustrated because his attempts to connect with the kids in his zone had not been received well due to a legacy of suspicion the community holds about the police.  This is what he had to say about playing in his first game This baseball game meant so much to me because during and after the game these young men told me “thank you” for playing. They also told me I’m the coolest and funniest cop they had ever met. The officer has been back to play in the game. 

L.E.A.D. Ambassador:   Had come up with a view that police officers are the bad guys.  He had this to say about his first experience playing in the Safe at Home Game:   I learned that APD men are just like us.  They have been through some of the same things we are going through as most are retired baseball players.  The APD men were well rounded, very outspoken and uplifting.  They taught me a lot about my ability to play this game we love – baseball.  They mentored me along the process.

Supportive Events and Activities:

Joint Practices:  We’ve seen long-term, trusting and respectful relationships between inner-city youth and police officers develop because of the Safe at Home Game.  To accomplish this, we’ve held joint practices, both public and private, that allow players to fellowship and build bridges to relationships that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Over the years, many APD officers have joined practices including Lt. James Hodge who was a part of the inaugural team that put the SAHG together. APD Officer Micah Davis regularly attends the L.E.A.D. Ambassador’s practices because he loves being around the kids and he encourages his fellow officers to do the same.

Community Involvement and Support:  In addition, there are other events leading up to the game where the players will spend time together within the community.  One such event was a recent presentation made to SAHG players and founders by Greg Davis, President of the game’s Grand Slam sponsor, the Rotary Club of Buckhead, at one of their weekly meetings.  Mr. Davis has a personal reason to get involved. His son is APD Officer Micah Davis.

New Alliances Formed: Because of his passion for the SAHG and building positive relationships with youth in the community, APD Officer Micah Davis, has helped L.E.A.D. to solidify a relationship with APD’s Police Athletic League (PAL).  We are excited for the youth in PAL to attend the game this year with their APD coaches/mentors.  The activities leading up to the Safe at Home Game are unifying and provide positive images of change throughout Atlanta.

National Stage:  Finally, you just never know where leadership will take the concept of the SAHG.  L.E.A.D. Ambassador Alumnus Samuel Austin Evans brought it before 150 of his contemporaries at a recent Posse Foundation Summit during a conversation about The State of Our Union.  You can see his delivery here: https://safeathomegame.com/2019/07/samuel-austin-evans-on-solution-based-safe-at-home-game/

Where: The Historic Booker T. Washington High School, 45 Whitehouse Drive SW Atlanta 30314

When: Saturday, August 24, 2019 | Game Starts @ 11am, Gates Open @10am

 

Contact information: Please direct all inquiries to Kelli Stewart at 404-867-4626 or kelli.stewart@lead2legacy.org.