Seattle Mariners 3B Coach Manny Acta’s ImpACTA Kids a Source of Pride
Seattle Mariners third base coach Manny Acts realizes dream of giving back to his community via the "ImpACTA Kids Foundation."
When Seattle Mariners third base coach Manny Acta got his first managerial opportunity with the Washington Nationals in 2007, local media wanted to see where he grew up. He proudly invited them to his hometown of Ingenio Consúelo, a municipality of San Pedro de Macoris.
Once considered a bastion of sugar cane factories, this area drew in individuals from all over the Dominican Republic and Haiti. As a way to pass the time, workers would organize baseball games on the vast fields surrounding the mills.
Naturally, with so many athletic bodies from all over the island, this created quite the competitive atmosphere. You can imagine how this might have influenced a kid whose father worked in those factories.
A kid like Manuel Elías Acta Peña and others like him.
Acta spent a lot of time playing baseball in those same fields. Who wouldn’t, especially when the likes of 1987 MVP George Bell did the same when he was growing up?
Though the time of prosperity in sugar production didn’t last long, it was enough to build the second largest population of Major League Baseball players in the entire country.
This was a source of pride for Acta. Getting the opportunity to show the world this unknown slither of land was something he could not wait to do.
The Birth of “ImpACTA Kids”
“So we went to this field where I used to play,” Manny Acta says with a tinge of disappointment in his voice. “And the grass was up to my knees. You couldn’t find home plate, second base, third base, nothing.”
With the sugar cane factories out of business, the fields were abandoned.
This reminded Acta of a wish he had as a kid after seeing people in his neighborhood desert the community. He dreamed of someday making enough money to give back to his hometown.
And so, on November 2007, the “ImpACTA Kids Foundation” was formed.
Initially, the plan was to build two baseball fields and an educational center. More than 13 years later, Acta’s foundation has built seven Little League stadiums. Six fields are situated in Ingenio Consúelo, and one is in Ingenio Santa Fe.
This venture is something that has made Acta, his family, and, perhaps most importantly, his community extremely proud. It is also Acta’s way of putting up, rather than shutting up, like the individuals who deserted his community all those years ago.
“I told people in our community that I couldn’t fix everybody’s problems by handing out $100 bills because that’s not going to fix your problems forever,” he said. “I wanted to leave something for the community that was going to last hundreds of years.
With ImpACTA Kids, Acta leaves something for his community that the kids, grandkids, perhaps even great-grandkids will take advantage of for the foreseeable future.
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