Mike Schell ’05, executive director of the Cannonball Foundation, comments on his Holy Cross education in a new ad for his foundation which helps young players hone their skills and further their education through athletic scholarships. Versions of the ad will air on FOX during nationally televised NCAA football and basketball games this year.
“The education I received [at the College of the Holy Cross]—both on the field—but importantly off it, has shaped my life to the point where it is today. This notion of being a man for others has left an indelible mark on me. So much of what I do is figure out how to improve the lives of others in some way,” he says.
A shortstop for Crusader baseball, Schell and Mike Ginns founded The Cannonball Foundation in honor of their baseball hero, a 1920s-era submarine pitcher named Will “Cannonball” Jackman, denied the acclaim he would enjoy today because he was African American.
“It’s a game that teaches you some of the most crucial life lessons: how to handle adversity, how to deal with success, how to deal with failure, how to work with others while being focused on your own performance,” says Schell.
It was Cannonball’s ability to overcome the adversity of segregation that inspired Schell to create an organization that would empower young athletes from underprivileged circumstances to realize their potential.
“Families from underserved areas are being priced out of baseball, and are receiving fewer opportunities because of it…Our mission for the Cannonball Foundation is to use baseball and softball to do the most good for the most people. We are a character, education, and leadership training organization.”
Read more about Schell and his foundation in Holy Cross Magazine: