Thanks to Morrie Silver, since the 1950s, millions of young baseball fans have poured into Rochester's baseball parks. For some young enthusiasts, snow cones, peanuts and hot dogs are the major attraction, while others enjoy the action on the field. Excitement continues to run through downtown Rochester in the summer, because Morrie Silver fused baseball and family, saving the Red Wings in our community.
The charge to keep the Red Wings in Rochester stabilized the sports community and laid the foundation for generations of fans to attend games with friends and family. He taught Rochester how to create a framework of people, business, and baseball that has lasted into the new century. He taught us a great lesson in giving, and in Morrie Silver's memory, his family has provided for a continuing gift of education.
Since 1997, The Silver Family has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to employees of the Rochester Red Wings, ages 18-25, who are pursuing a full time course study at an accredited 2 or 4 year college, university or vocational school. Each applicant is considered on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, extra curricular activities, job performance and recommendations from supervisors. $5000 dollars is awarded annually and distributed to the selected recipients.
Selected employees for the scholarship show exemplary work ethic, solid academic achievement and a desire to continue their education to accomplish their goals.
This year's recipients of the Anna B. and Morrie E. Silver Scholarship are:
Michalla Ball: Michalla is from Irondequoit, and has worked as an Intern in our Front Office this season. Michalla will be will be graduating from Nazareth College this December, majoring in Visual communication Design.
Ben Blakley: Ben was also an Intern in our Front Office this season. He is from Ontario, NY and a graduate of Wayne Central High School. Ben will be a junior at SUNY Brockport this year majoring in Journalism and Broadcasting.
Ben DiCrasto: Ben interned with our Communications and Online Content Depart this year. Ben is from Williamson, NY and will be graduating from Houghton College next May. He has triple major - Business Administration, Sport, Recreation & Wellness and Integrated Marketing Communication.
Nicole Kelly: Nicole is from Greece, and started working for the Red Wings when she was in high school, and is now the Stand Manager at Say Cheese. This year she will be a senior at SUNY Brockport, majoring in Graphic Design.
Bryton Simpson: Bryton is in his second season as a Red Wings employee, you can often find him at the Altobelli Deli. He is a recent graduate of the Rochester Academy Charter School. Bryton is attending Genesee Community College this fall, majoring in Communications.
Troy Smith: Troy is also in his second season with the Wings, also working in Concessions, often at Red Osier. Troy is a graduate of Greece Odyssey High School, and is in his second year at MCC, majoring in Chemistry. Troy hopes to attend medical school in the future.
Applications are available at the Red Wings offices and must be returned no later than July 1. Deserving applicants will be selected at the end of July and recognized at a Red Wings game in August.
"My husband would be very proud to be able to help some of the dedicated young people working for the ballclub," says Morrie's wife, Anna Silver, "to further their education. The scholarship, in his memory, gives us the vehicle by which to focus on some of Morrie's priorities in life: the youth of our community, education, and of course, baseball."
Naomi Silver, Red Wings COO and daughter of Morrie Silver, remembers her father's efforts. "He put a lot of time and hard work into making baseball function in Rochester, and we've been fortunate to keep his memory intact. This is something he would love to have seen and something that the youth deserve so much."
The Morrie Silver Family Foundation Scholarship Fund keeps alive the integrity of Mr. Silver's belief in education, business and baseball. The Silver family and the Rochester Red Wings recognize his focus on community awareness and a dedication to excellence, both basic principles instilled in Rochester Community Baseball.
Morrie Silver's professional baseball legacy can be compared to Abner Doubleday's role in the sport itself - he didn't create it, but simply ensured it would last.
Current employees and interns who qualify can contact their department head for information on applying for the current year's Morrie Silver Family Scholarship.
Morrie Silver organized a stock drive in 1957 to help save baseball in Rochester