Vance Albitz has never been daunted before by large, or improbable, tasks.

Listed at only 5-foot-7 (he cops to 5-6), the Cardinals farmhand has been looking to come up big by giving troops overseas a taste of home and offering them a simple game of catch. The diminutive infielder is doing so by collecting a number of gloves and balls to send to troops — a process that already has begun and that he hopes will be aided by donations at this weekend's Cardinals Winter Warm-Up.

"I always wanted to do something, specifically, with the military," said Albitz. "It wasn't long ago, in November, when I was reading an article on-line and a soldier was asked what he would like people to send to him. He said a glove and a baseball. He wanted to play catch with another soldier."

Albitz said he deemed this a perfect opportunity for him to be able to help the troops abroad, and he began hoarding some gloves. He had a few of his own, minor league teammates such as highly regarded lefthander John Gast send him some, and soon other people in baseball and fans alike were responding after Albitz's goal to help the troops was reported online in an mlb.com story and by local radio personality Randy Karraker.