BALTIMORE -- As the Orioles wind down their season, third baseman Melvin Mora is already prepping for his offseason tradition of charity to continue. Mora, who was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award this season for his work off the field, is in his fourth year of collecting new and gently used baseball equipment and uniforms, and sending them home to underprivileged children in his home country of Venezuela.
"This time of year can be frustrating," Mora said. "The end of another losing season -- and sometimes you don't have the power to do anything because you're tired, but you have to keep going. Life is not ending here and I know there's a lot of kids that need me out there. I have to ... just think about the kids and how I want to help the kids and the people in my country, and do the best I can so that they can have what I didn't have."
On Thursday, Mora will be at Reservoir High School in Howard County to collect equipment donations from 5-7 p.m. ET. The public is invited to bring baseball and softball equipment, including bats, balls, uniforms, cleats, bases and trophies for donation.
Mora will then assist youth from Aberdeen Freestate Challenge Academy and the Oriole Advocates in packing up the donations in preparation for shipment this Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Runners Inc. Warehouse from 12-1 p.m.
Mora, along with the Melvin Mora Foundation, OriolesREACH and the Oriole Advocates' Cardboard to Leather program have been collecting donations throughout the year. In his first year, Mora said he collected roughly 1,500 bats, 800 gloves and countless uniforms and balls. Now in his fourth year, the third baseman continues to see those numbers climb.
"Every year it goes up," Mora said. "Before, it was used ones. Now it's like brand new stuff, so it gets even better because I can just go to the schools -- and they never had anything -- and now they're going to have new stuff so they'll be excited."
With the help of his cousin, Allison Garcia, Mora is able to pack up the equipment here and then subsequently distribute it in Venezuela, ensuring it goes to the right place and the right people.
Amanda Comak is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.