Nightly News   |  June 06, 2013

DC cop, forever changed by baseball, pays it forward

Jason Medina learned to hit a baseball while participating in Harlem RBI, a program for inner-city youth that teaches teamwork and the importance of a strong work ethic. He’s now planning to start a similar program in Washington, D.C., where he hopes to inspire future generations. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> with the school year winding down, the boys and girls of summer will be taking the field in baseball programs across the country. and for some, this maybe a life changing experience as they learn what they can achieve both on and off the field. nbc's ron maut has on making a difference report.

>> reporter: since 1991 , young new yorkers like 14-year-old marlin silva have stretched beyond what they thought possible, thanks to baseball.

>> it taught me how to be a team player , a person, a positive out going child that i am.

>> harlem, rbi, which grew from an abandoned lot to this program, it attracted visitors such as jason medina, who's coach said was no prince.

>> i'm not exactly a go along get along type of kid. he was self-directed and new what he wanted for himself when he left here. but also was very clear about what he owed to his teammates and to his community.

>> reporter: today's a 30-year-old cop in washington, d.c. name officer of the year in 2011 .

>> r. he's a hit on the police force because they're hitting baseballs again in this park. part of medina's efforts to play it forward. he started ward 7 baseball. modeled largely after harlem rbi. funding much of it from his own pocket with a simple goal.

>> and that's change a life. try to show somebody that there's somebody that actually cares about you.

>> reporter: and that growth is a reality. already 72 players strong.

>> it's good because people get to stay out of trouble and they come out here and have fun.

>> it's a good community thing to do.

>> reporter: busy transforming lives. one kid, one pitch, at a time.

>> you did a great job.

>> reporter: nbc washington .

>> that's our broadcast for this