'Get them out and running and just be kids again': Milwaukee's Quickball tournament a home run

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- If you haven't heard of Quickball before, don't worry. You're not alone.

"Quickball's exactly what it sounds like. It's just a quick version of baseball or softball," explained Scott Swinson, senior director of development at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. "It's a really easy, fun way to play baseball or softball without all the gear. It's just a great way to introduce kids to baseball and softball and have fun."

On Tuesday, kids from the Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Chicago all joined together on the Journey House Felix Mantilla Little League Fields at Baran Park in Milwaukee to do just that, have fun and enjoy the summer sunshine while competing with one another in the Milwaukee Quickball Tournament, hosted by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in partnership with Wisconsin Badges for Baseball.

"Summer is every kid's favorite time of the year, but there's also a lot of down time because we don't have school, we don't have after school activities," Swinson said. "This is a great way to get kids out in the community, keep them busy in a safe, healthy way."

Each team had coaches helping guide them to victory. Those coaches were players from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee men's and women's basketball teams. Officers from MPD District 2 were also on-hand,  cheering on the kids and even giving them a closer look at the police motorcycles and horses.

Maria Herrera was at the tournament to cheer on her two sons. She was glad to have them spending time with people she says are role models in the community.

"Something for them to stay out of trouble and enjoy the summer," Herrera said. "They have the MPD from District 2, which they will be like, 'Oh, they're officers, I should be scared.' No, you shouldn't! They see bigger people from the basketball; it's something great for them to see because it motivates them."

Captain Patrick Pajot with District 2 says out of all the community events the department participates in, the Quickball tournament is one of the best.

"It's a great event for the kids. Get them out and running and just be kids again," Captain Pajot said. "I think it's just really good to have them engage with the police and just be comfortable with us."

Representatives from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation travel around the country to help serve and strengthen underserved and distressed communities by supporting and advocating for children, building youth development parks and centers and partners with law enforcement and youth service agencies.

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