Jim Blackerby introduced Dr. Charles Steinberg, president of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who gave a most interesting mostly biographical talk on his career in baseball. Though he collected only 2 hits in 2 years in little league his love for baseball has been a major part of his life for the past 41 years. In his senior year in a Baltimore high school he was able to intern with the Baltimore Orioles for one month in their PR work. He put together slides on the team and took them to 3 TV stations. He promoted the sale of T-shirts and giveaway bats. He was asked to come back the next summer. He worked on statistics with his boss, Earl Weaver. He followed his father into dentistry, hoping to be his own boss, and allowing him the opportunity to continue his love of baseball with the Orioles. Though initially against the new ballpark idea in Baltimore, he saw how the Camden Yards park rejuvenated the city. His then boss asked him to go with him to the San Diego Padres and again watch how a new stadium would enliven a big city.
Dr. Steinberg was part of persuading the Padres to grant 25 middle school students $5,000 scholarships to the college of their choice. It was important for him to reach those kids at a turning point in their lives and give them a goal and direction before moving in a negative life style. After Petco Park was constructed he moved back with his boss to Boston in 2002. The Red Sox organization provided $10,000 scholarships to middle school students.
Now that he is president of the Pawsox Red Sox organization he intends to see that $10,000 in scholarships are given out. Since their funds are quite limited, they will begin with 2 middle school scholarships, one from Pawtucket and one from Central Falls.
He believes that the Pawsox need to develop a good PR program that reaches each of RI's 39 cities and towns. He closed with a touching story about an 11 year old boy teary-eyed because he did not get Jason Varetek's autograph. The line was too long at a mall signing ceremony, and the 3 Red Sox players had to split up in order to get to another event in Conn. So, the Red Sox player who got to this boy was not the idol he was waiting to meet. Understanding the child's grief Dr. Steinberg personally walked the boy to the waiting bus, had him meet his idol, get the autograph. Two years later the boy's father, a Gulf Oil Co. exec., told Dr. S. that what he did changed his son's life. How could Gulf not reward the Red Sox in a large financial endorsement after what they had done for his son?