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Businessman's Vision Leads to 100 Little League Teams for Underprivileged Kids

On his way to work one day, Chicago insurance broker Bob Muzikowski saw a derelict ball field full of trash in a gang-infested neighborhood. The kids there could use a real Little League to play in, he thought. He teamed up with a friend to create the Near North Little League. In "pretty wild" early practice sessions, coaches dealt with 250 boys long on enthusiasm but short on fundamentals. Each game began with a prayer. Cursing was strictly forbidden.

"While I had no illusions that I'd change the world, I had no doubt that God wanted me to play baseball with these kids," said Muzikowski, converted not long before. "My faith had taught me that being a Christian means truly believing what Jesus said about loving my neighbor."

The next year, 400 kids joined the league. Today 900 fatherless kids in 100 Little League teams are learning self-respect and community values. Reporters wonder why a wealthy businessman lives among the poor, coaching other people's kids. Muzikowski answers, "Jesus didn't say, 'When you've paid someone to do it unto the least of these.' What he said was, 'when you have done it."

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