TAMPA, Fla. - Denard Span’s definitely got the baseball thing down.

What You Need To Know

  • Denard Span spent 11 years in MLB, including stint with Rays

  • His foundation serves and empowers single-parent households

  • Span credits his mother for much of what he learned

And he’s got the father thing down pat too.

Denard had a good teacher, his mother.

"Majority of my strength comes from her and without her, I wouldn’t be able to be the man that I am," Denard said.

Not all heroes wear capes. Denard Span grew up in the same house with his hero, a woman named Wanda.

"Just being there every step of the way," he said. "Being a provider, being a nurturer, she did it all. She definitely was a Superhero."

And he honors his superhero with his charity foundation that focuses on single parents.

"I grew up in a single mother home," Denard said. "Once I got to a certain point in my career, I decided that was the avenue I was going to give back to."

And he’s giving back in a big way. The Denard Span Foundation serves and empowers single-parent households through such simple acts as providing meals or transportation. During this pandemic, Denard wanted to do something more.

"My wife and I were here in this house, talking about it, praying about it, wondering how we could be an impact or wondering how we could lend a helping hand," he said. "Quite naturally, we stared thinking about family’s needs."

An original goal of raising $3,000 to provide meals quickly surpassed to more than $12,000.

"God was definitely leading us in the right direction to do what we set out to do," Denard said.

The same can be said for Denard’s baseball career, one that is rooted in Tampa. One that saw him win a state title at Tampa Catholic. And one that took him all over the league, before his last stop with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018.

"Definitely a lot of roots here," he said. "And just thankful that everything’s been able to come full circle.

Now his life as a dad is coming full circle with all of the lessons he learned from his mother. Those lessons are helping him assess and prepare for the future.

"I’m enjoying being home with my family and my kids, cherishing time spent with them," Denard said. "Enjoying that time and I have a few things up my sleeve that I’m looking into but right now I’m just taking a deep breath and catching up with family."