Thursday, May 29, 2008
Being There (Part One)
“He has been very important in my life. He has always taken me everywhere and been there for me," firmly stated Chad Cordero. "For years, my dad changed his hours at work—by working overnight—just so he could be with us at all our baseball games. When we went on field trips—he was there. Having him around for me and all my brothers and my sister was huge.”
And unquestionably--a big impact on Our Number 32's life.
If you have read The Nats320 Blog for any length of time, you have probably come to realize the action off the field is many times just as important to Sohna and I as the games played on the baseball diamond. Especially the work put in by many of those associated with Our Washington Nationals to help others. No doubt you have read the fine efforts being made by The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation Community Initiatives, Our Manager Manny Acta's push forward with his impActa Kids Foundation and Our Franchise Player--Ryan Zimmerman's work with his ziMSfoundation--in honor of his mother, diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
All are honorable and great efforts, but I offer that many may not have heard about the PERSONAL TASKS put forth by "The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game." No, he doesn't have his own foundation yet. But, since the very first moments Chad Cordero signed his INITIAL PROFESSIONAL CONTRACT, Our Number 32 has been giving back to those in need--throughout his Southern California Community.
Please take note of some of Chad's generosity.
Batting Cage for his college Alma Mater (Cal-State Fullerton);
Pitching Machine, Portable Batting Cage, John Deere Tractor to grade the infield, new baseball uniforms, new scoreboard, among other items donated to his High School--Don Lugo;
Don Lugo also received a brand new sports weight training room--in which Our Number 32 funded the entire amount of $62,000 for it's construction--All 2,300 Square feet.
$25,000 to local rival High School--Senator Reuben S. Ayala--for a new baseball infield--along with new baseball uniforms. (and no--this Ayala is no relation to Luis--although Chad gives Our Number 56 an "Ayala" Baseball shirt each spring--which Luis wears proudly).
And his personal charitable work does not stop at baseball and sports.
Add these to the list.
Computers for a special education class at nearby Glenmeade Elementary (California).
Six laptops, software and training for first grade teachers at Newman Elementary School in Chino--where his Aunt, Eva Rodriguez, is a first grade teacher.
New Laptop Computers for first grade teachers at his former elementary school--E.J. Marshall. A project currently in the works.
Monetary Donations and Personal Appearances for The City of Chino Recreation Youth Fund and The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Chad's brother--Matthew--works closely with The Make-A-Wish Foundation in Southern California.
"Any time you have the chance to help out kids, or anybody actually, it’s something that you just have to do," said Cordero. "Sure, it makes me feel good, but it’s the impact that one little thing, let’s say giving a kid a shirt, or a new pair of shoes, or something along those lines—makes on that person. It makes that kid feel special—a feeling they might not have had, many times in their lives. These kids don’t have a whole lot of money and can’t afford many things. I feel good knowing they now feel good about receiving something they needed.”
And Chad's big-heartedness all started with his family. A close knit one. Raised in Chino, California--Chad Cordero's Mother--Patti and Father--Ed have always supported their children. Along with his two brothers Matthew & Alan and their sister--Ashley--The Cordero Parents taught their children that hard work brings success.
And no one proved that more than Mr. Edward Cordero.
For 20 Years, Ed Cordero drove the late night delivery truck for Wonder Bread--so he could be with Chad and his other children at all their functions. Whether in Elementary, Intermediate, High School or College--The Cordero's were always there for their kids. At one point--Mr. Cordero also headed the booster club at Chad's Elementary School and was named--by the PTA--as Parent of the Year. He evened coached freshman baseball at Chad's High School--Don Lugo in Chino.
Chad and his Father bonded through baseball. And Mr. Cordero used their private time together to teach his son about the lessons in life. Recently stating; [In life}, "you have the ups and the downs. It's the same thing in baseball. You'll have good games and bad games, and you've got to get up the next day." (I love that line--SBF) Later, he personally told me: "You and I also know--we have to get up the next morning and go to work--no matter how we feel."
Unquestionably--Chad Cordero has learned his father's lessons. Whether accepting the role of Principal For A Day, Riding a Float in The Christmas Youth Parade or just stopping by to chat with kids at the local elementary school--Our Number 32 is taking the time to give back and help out those in need--by BEING THERE.
His ever growing list of good deeds also includes helping his sister, Ashley, to raise funds for Hillview Acres--a home for abused children in California and Coaching Winter Ball at Don Lugo alongside his brother Matthew. Believe it or not--Chad Cordero was The CLEANUP HITTER in High School. Matthew batted 3rd in the lineup.
Recently, Chad Cordero was kind enough to give me some private time--so we could chat about his charitable roles within The City of Chino, California and the surrounding area. But before that conversation can be read--it was important to set the stage for the interview that will follow.
Somewhat shy, but quite engaging--"The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game" will discuss his volunteer efforts within the community in which he grew up. And why not--because as Chad Cordero said: "My dad was there for me. It's neat to be there for someone else."
Part Two Tomorrow.
PS--So, do you think Mr. Cordero deserves a nice Father's Day Gift This Year? Wow!!