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Executive Director - Cle Ross
 

                                      Mike Moustakas & Jarrod Dyson                                          Edinson Volquez & Eric Hosmer  

 

                                         
I was born in Kansas City, Kansas and moved with my mother Patricia and my older brother Theo, to Wellington, KS, a small town near Wichita as a young child. I was raised in Wellington and graduated from Wellington High School.

At age 5, I began wrestling, playing football and baseball. My mother was a church pianist and being a single parent, she made many sacrifices so that I could participate in every sport I was interested in. When I was twelve, athletic gear and gift certificates to our local sporting goods store started showing up anonymously on our doorstep. It was obvious that someone(Jud Mitchell) in my community had not only recognized my talent as an athlete, but also took a direct interest in trying to provide me with the resources needed to develop my skills. It was then that a piece of S.A.F.E was first born...found myself trying to figure out ways to give back.

In 1994, my sophomore year of high school, my brother(on my father’s side of the family), Khaaliq Martin, was murdered. Khaaliq was living in Kansas City, Mo. and only 17 years old at the time. He was an innocent youth. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a helpless bystander. Needless to say, 1994 was a tough year for me and as I worked through the emotions of losing my brother, I began to wonder how many other teens had lost siblings due to murder and how unfair youth violence was.

My senior year at Wellington High School, I broke my wrist playing football and to avoid surgery, had to wear a cast from January through May. This meant I would never get to play Varsity baseball during my high school career(a lifetime High School JV player). I had several college scholarship offers for wrestling and football, but my passion was baseball. When I found out my cousin was trying out for the KCKCC (Kansas City Kansas Community College) baseball team, I contacted head coach, Steve Burleson. The tryout was a success as I was the only walk-on to make the 1998-99 roster.

My freshman year at KCKCC, I had to borrow textbooks from teachers, friends and teammates in order to study, because I could not afford the cost of books. That year, I promised my mother that I would work hard and never go another year in college without being on a scholarship of some kind, athletic or academic. I was able to keep that promise by earning an athletic scholarship at North Central Missouri College as well as The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff(UAPB). I led the baseball team to the most wins in school history winning the triple crown my senior season.  I finished my baseball career playing in the minor leagues becoming the first member of my family and high school graduating class to play on the professional level.                                                  


During my time at KCKCC, my workouts would take me up and down Parallel Parkway, one day a teammate and I ran by the baseball fields known as Wyandotte County 3&2(now known as Barton- Ross Complex). At first glance the ball field was in bad shape, but upon second glance a vision began to plant itself in my head. I was intrigued by this unique field that sat dormant below the ground in the heart of the inner city, and I made a vow to figure out what was going on with those fields when I was done with school.

In 2007, I was finally able to pull all of my past experiences together. I founded Success Achieved in Future Environments (S.A.F.E) a tax exempt non-profit organization, in 2008, I went back to Parallel Parkway, determined to keep my vow to find out more about the rundown ballpark. Turns out Wyandotte County 3&2 had more history than I knew. From 1947-1998 it was the home to over 2500 youth annually! This includes former Major League Baseball players: Ray Sadecki, David Segui, Damian Rolls, Neil Allen, Steve Renko, Kevin Young and current Cleveland Cavaliers Assistant Coach Larry Drew! After a year of tracking down the owner, S.A.F.E. was able to gain ownership of the ball field named Wyandotte County 3&2.

Since 2010, S.A.F.E. has provided summer baseball and softball through its KCK RBI program to over 5,200 inner city boys and girls ages 3-18. Currently KCK RBI has 32 participants who are now playing sports in college, 20 former players have continued on to play college baseball/softball and 18 players had the honor of participating in the 2012 Major League Baseball All Star week and Jr. RBI Classic.  In 2015, Wyandotte County 3&2 was renovated into a 1.4 million dollar state of the art showcase turf field and renamed Barton- Ross Complex. KCK RBI was also renamed Kansas RBI.                                                                                              

 


I have been blessed and I'm constantly looking for ways to give back. It is my hope that we can put an end to youth violence and improve the future for our youth by incorporating athletics and education.

Biography:

My name is Cle Ross, I am the Executive Director of Kansas Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (Kansas RBI), founder of the Dirt Dandies Elite Showcase, Culture & Community Relations Manager (Freightquote), owner of Barton-Ross Complex, and CEO of Success Achieved In Future Environments (S.A.F.E.) a tax exempt, non-profit organization that provides support through the sponsorship of educational programs and events, with an emphasis on youth from disadvantaged circumstances.

Sports Biography:

College: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff - During his two years in Arkansas playing Division I baseball, Ross broke numerous single season records, including: most hits in a season, highest single season batting average, highest career batting average, most doubles in a season, most RBI’s in a season, and most total bases in a season. He also led UAPB to the most wins in school history winning the MVP award in 2002 becoming the first triple crown winner by leading the team in homeruns, RBI’s and posting the highest batting average. North Central Missouri College- Led the team in batting average, broke the single season stolen base record, had a 18 game hitting streak. Inducted into the 2017 NCMC Athletic Hall of Fame. Kansas City Kansas Community College-Walk-on. Never played varsity high school(Wellington, Ks) baseball(JV only). Former minor leaguer.


 

Honors & Awards

North Central Missouri College Athletic Hall of Fame-Inducted (2017)

Threw out the 1st pitch at a Kansas City T-Bones vs Winnipeg Goldeyes game. (2016)

Barton-Ross Complex (namesake). (2015)

1st local RBI program to play in the RBI World Series, finished 2-2. (2014)

1st local RBI program to win Central RBI Regional Championship (2014)

Cle Ross Community Impact Award (namesake)-Freightquote (2014)

Unconditional Love (book-Ben Stroup): Radical Stories, Real People - feature story (2013)

1st Annual MLB RBI World Series Showcase Participant/KCK RBI (2013)

One Man's Dream (book-Frank White): My Town, My Team, My Time- featured (2012)

RBI Chevy Truck Driver-  MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade (2012)

Jr. RBI Classic Participant- Major League Baseball All-Star Game (2012)

My Hero Project: The Christian Science Monitor (2011)

Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat (2011)

Midwest Scouts Associations “Lifetime Achievement Award” (2010)

Minor League Baseball - Texas Rangers & Amarillo Dillas (2002)

UAPB- Player of the Year-Baseball (2002)

UAPB- Triple Crown winner, Led team in Homeruns, RBI's, Batting Average (2002)

Led the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff to the most wins in school history(2002)

Highest single season batting average(.377) in UAPB history at the time (2002) 

Highest career batting average(.359)in UAPB history at the time (2002)

Most stolen bases(43) in North Central Missouri College single season (2000)