FORMER MLB PLAYER & TUCSON NATIVE DAVID SHELLEY DUNCAN CREATES TUCSON YOUTH BASEBALL ASSOCIATION (TYBA)
David Shelley Duncan, former MLB player and now manager for the AZ Diamondbacks organization, introduces the Tucson Youth Baseball Association (TYBA). TYBA’s stated mission is to “improve the Southern AZ community through the support and growth of youth baseball; to increase visibility, reduce barriers to participation and provide financial support for youth baseball in the community”.
Born and raised in Southern Arizona, Duncan has had a lifelong passion for baseball and the Tucson community.
Duncan played baseball for CDO LittleLeague,Canyon del Oro High School and University of Arizona before being drafted by the New York Yankees and also playing for the Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays. When asked about why he created TYBA, Duncan shared, “My passion is to see the sport of baseball grow to the levels it once was. Tucson was host to Major League Spring Training for over 50 years and Triple-A baseball gave families over 70 nights of baseball a year. Baseball created a major economic boost for our hotels, restaurants and small businesses in our community. We want to see youth baseball have that same type of impact for this community.”
Although one of the fastest growing sports in the country, youth baseball has become increasingly expensive for families. Rising prices for equipment, fields, registration and uniforms has made participation difficult for many families. “TYBA was created to bring back former levels of participation and increase the popularity of the sport”, says Duncan. “No family should be prevented from having their child play baseball because of the cost. We want to inspire these kids to play and help make sure they get to play.”
Duncan has brought Major League players and top business leaders together with all levels of baseball in the community to further the TYBA mission. “I am extremely proud of the baseball coaches, family members and community leaders who have come together for this shared vision”, says Duncan. “Their commitment of working together to provide tournaments, clinics and fundraisers will help increase the popularity of the sport, help our local business community and lower the overall costs to play baseball for Southern Arizona families.”
TYBA includes leaders and coaches from Little League, high schools, club baseball, Kino Baseball, American Legion Baseball, Pima College and University of Arizona. TYBA elected officers include Chair Bill Leith, Vice Chair Marcheta Gillespie, Secretary Amber Fernandez and Operations Manager Blake Eager. Additional members of TYBA include Little League leaders Carl Thompson (District 5), Cindy Snow (District 12) and Brooks Bishop (District 8), Club Baseball liaison Mike Hanson, High School Liaisons Shane Folsom, Tony Gabusi and Kelly Johnson. Shelley Duncan serves on the executive council for the organization. For questions or to get involved with TYBA, contact Bill Leith at firstname.lastname@example.org