With Spring Training finally sprung, Steven Souza used February’s monthly Action Team Conference Call to share his 2014 highlights and excitement for a new season.
But when the Rays’ outfielder joined over 20 Action Team Captains from coast to coast the main topic on everyone’s minds was Souza’s no hitter-saving catch last September.
“A play that comes down to the last out like that is just incredible,” said Sousa, whose diving catch secured the first no hitter for both pitcher Jordan Zimmerman and the Nationals franchise. “It doesn’t happen too often and to be a part of that is amazing.”
Aside from his on-field accomplishments, it was his event with the Action Team that really opened his eyes to the infinite possibilities of teamwork.
During the offseason, Steven and his fiancé joined King County High Schools (Wash.) Action Team Captains in Seattle where they dissembled more than 300 bicycles to be shipped to Africa by the non-profit Bicycles for Humanity.
“You get to meet people who work in totally different environments working for one great cause,” Sousa said. “These bikes are huge commodities for those in Africa who sometimes walk miles just to get water and food.”
Once dismantled, the bikes were shipped to the Zulu Tribe in South Africa by Bicycles for Humanity, whose mission is to improve mobility for people living in developing countries.
When he isn’t playing baseball or helping out with the Action Team, Sousa also likes to help out with Boys & Girls Club or giving back to his high school community.
“It’s an amazing satisfaction to give to others when you’re blessed,” Sousa said. “Some people aren’t as blessed as others and for you to have that blessing to share you can make people’s lives easier and happier.”
Sousa, in closing, provided the Action Team Captains some advice about success that translates from the baseball diamond to school or any other commitment in life.
“High school is an interesting time,” he said. “It’s a time to find out who you are and try to put your stamp on the world. The most important thing is to stay disciplined and keep your focus on what your goal is and what it will take to get there.”