The Respect KJ6 Initiative is a community-driven effort committed to supplying ball gloves to individuals who may lack proper playing gear, all while paying tribute to the life and legacy of KJ Harrison. KJ, an aspiring young ball player, contributed to the Snow Canyon High School 3A Utah State Championship baseball team in 2012. Tragically, just a few weeks after the championship game, KJ lost his life in a devastating accident, leaving a void felt deeply by his friends and family. In the following year, Snow Canyon achieved another championship victory, with a number 6 jersey hanging in their dugout in honor of KJ. Presently, Snow Canyon High School displays a Harrison 6 Jersey on their outfield wall and hosts the KJ Harrison Baseball Tournament each spring.
In November 2014, I visited Kreg Harrison, KJ's dad. Kreg shared his son's passion for fixing gloves, and we discussed KJ's life and the impact he had on those who knew him. Before I left, Kreg gave me a box of gloves that KJ had worked on. With Kreg's permission, I decided to mark them with KJ's initials and started giving them to players in need. This was the beginning of the KJ6 Initiative, which aims to provide individuals with the gear to play baseball and softball while leaving a piece of KJ on the field. To date, we've distributed nearly 500 gloves worldwide, including in the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Germany.
In the past year, the KJ6 Initiative has undergone restructuring and a fresh approach to community-driven giving. Starting in 2024, a collaboration with Yardley Sports enables individuals to buy a new glove, with another being donated as part of a buy-one-give-one program. These gloves will showcase a distinctive KJ6 pattern and branding. The next phase of the initiative is set to kick off once the new model and logos are finalized this spring.
In addition to getting the right gear and honoring KJ Harrison's life, the initiative gives ball players the chance to build confidence, make lasting friendships, learn from coaches, and enjoy a game that teaches handling both success and failure. Participating in sports becomes a foundation for people to enjoy life more and develop skills useful throughout their lives. The joy and appreciation from getting gloves keep fueling the initiative, and the chance to contribute helps people see the importance of doing good in the world.
The next phase of this initiative will continue honoring KJ and his family while providing many people with the opportunity to play the game with new equipment!
KJ Harrison Playing at Snow Canyon High School.