HOUSTON -- Astros manager Bo Porter played host to a group of 35 kids from the Spring Spirit Baseball organization prior to Saturday's game as part of the Bo Porter SELF Foundation he and his wife, Stacey, began last year.
Porter treated the kids to lunch, replica Astros jerseys and autographs from players Justin Maxwell and Brandon Barnes, both of whom spoke to the kids about the importance of education and sports as a path to success.
"We go out in the community to try to find groups of kids from underprivileged areas and bring them to the ballpark and give them the experience of being around the Houston Astros and Major League Baseball," Porter said.
Porter's SELF Foundation stands for Sports, Education, Life skills, and Faith -- four things that Porter says are integral to him.
"When I think back to my childhood and look at the impact sports have had not only in my life, but my wife's life, it's a commitment we made to give back to the community and get involved and try to impact kids on the cornerstone areas that are important to us," he said.
Barnes jumps at the chance to help kids.
"It's a big role being a Major League Baseball player, and we need to give every opportunity we can and speak to kids," he said. "I kind of tell my story and how I used baseball and education as a way out of my area. I'm not saying my area is the worst area, but it's an opportunity to share my story with them and tell them how important education is. I wouldn't have scholarships to college or stuff like that."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.