13 MVP: Jacob Zacharia spreading hope through baseball during COVID-19 pandemic

Hosting free video chat with former MLB personnel
Posted at 12:09 AM, Apr 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 11:27:07-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Most high school kids are bored and restless while cooped up in quarantine, but one local teen has been busy setting up a series of free online video chats for kids across the country.

For Jacob Zacharia, life revolves around baseball.

"Ever since I was five, it's been the thing I've been obsessed with. By the time I was seven, it was every day with baseball. And by the time I was nine, I already knew that I wanted to be a general manager of a major league baseball team for the rest of my life," said Zacharia.

So, the eager teen got to work early, not only to play the game he loves but to start the nonprofit, Vegas Baseball Buddies, as a way to give back.

"The love I have for the game, I owe a lot of that to the baseball community. So, I just wanted to give back to that baseball community I played in and the underserved around the Vegas valley," said Zacharia.

You may remember Jacob and his Vegas Baseball Buddies from the free developmental baseball clinics they hosted at the Las Vegas Ballpark back in December.

RELATED: Click here to nominate a 13 MVP.

"It was such an amazing experience. We got to hold instructional clinics out of the ballpark for two days," said Zacharia.

Now, he's not letting COVID-19 socially distance him from the game he loves.

"It's sad what's happening in this world. It's a lot to deal with, but I'm trying to take advantage of this time I have and that's through helping my community with Vegas Baseball Buddies," said Zacharia.

Jacob is launching a new video chat series, inviting kids across the country to talk shop with former Major League Baseball players, coaches, executives, and the current commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred.

"We'll be talking baseball during these times and player development and all kinds of topics for about an hour, and people who tune in can ask them questions and meet him. So, that's really cool," said Zacharia.

Jacob's goal is to get as many kids signed on as possible because he believes baseball is the best outlet.

"I can't imagine growing up without being able to do the same things that I've been able to do. So, I just want to be able to give kids as many opportunities as possible to have fun experiences with baseball and just love the game like I do," said Zacharia.

Jacob says he plans to give up playing baseball in college, so he can focus all of his time and effort on studying business before trying to achieve his goal of working for a major league baseball team's front office.

As for Vegas Baseball Buddies, their first video Q-and-A chat session is scheduled for April 21 at 11 a.m. If you're interested in learning more or registering to join, click this link.