The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Help young Cardinals by being a host family in Peoria

A major benefit of minor league baseball is the close interaction fans can enjoy with players. Some individuals can take that personal involvement to an even higher level by opening up their homes and become host families for players.

Minor leaguers are young, relatively low-paid and usually assigned at the last moment to an unfamiliar outpost far away from home. It is especially challenging for foreign-born players, for whom it is not unlike being an exchange student in a strange land.

Knowing a welcoming home away from home awaits can help the player relax off the field, leading to better performance on the field.

With the St. Louis Cardinals having rekindled their affiliation with the Peoria Chiefs for at least the next four seasons, the Class-A Midwest club sent me the following notice. In turn, I am pleased to share it with you.

Even if you do not live in the vicinity of Peoria, consider looking into whether your local area minor league team has a similar program and need. You will be glad you did.

The Peoria Chiefs are looking for local families who are interested in hosting one or two players for the 2013 Midwest League season. The organization will host an informational meeting about their new Host Family Program at Peoria Chiefs Stadium in the Bradfields Conference Room on Monday, January 28 at 6:00 p.m.

Host families will help the Chiefs players get acclimated to the Peoria area as their home away from home during the season and allow them to concentrate on being a professional baseball player. Host families have the ability to “adopt” one or two players during the season and provide room and board and a solid family environment away from the stadium. The 2013 Chiefs season runs from April 4 to September 2 pending playoffs and families should be able to accommodate players during that timespan.

Interested families should contact Nathan Baliva at nathanb@chiefsnet.com to obtain an informational form to bring to the January 28 meeting.

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