Mike Baxter – New York Mets Outfielder
Cathy Bradley – Executive Director, Baseball Tomorrow Fund
Mike O’Hara – Host, MLB Fan Cave
On behalf of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), New York Mets Outfielder and Whitestone, New York native Mike Baxter will be donating new baseball equipment to young ballplayers from the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance (GNYSSA). GNYSAA was chosen by the New York Mets as their local BTF/MLB Equipment Day grant recipient.
This effort is part of the league-wide BTF/MLB Equipment Day Initiative, which is in its seventh year. The New York Mets are also teaming up with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) to host the BTF/MLB Equipment Day collection drive at Citi Field prior to the Mets vs. Braves on Saturday, August 27. This is in support of the ongoing commitment from Major League Baseball, Clubs and the players to increase opportunities for youth participation in baseball and softball. Fans are encouraged to donate new and gently-used equipment to benefit GNYSSA. GNYSSA currently serves more than 25,000 young people, ages 6-18, in the New York City Metropolitan Area through the games of baseball and softball.
WHEN: Friday, August 26, 2011
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET – Media availability
WHERE: MLB Fan Cave
Located on the corner of East 4th Street and Broadway
Steve Arocho or Jeff Heckelman, Major League Baseball, (212) 931-7878, @MLB_PR
Greg Bouris, MLBPA, (212) 826-0808; firstname.lastname@example.org
Baseball Tomorrow Fund announced third quarter grants totaling more than $465,000 to seven communities across the country, including: Shelby, North Carolina; Pocatello, Idaho; Passaic, New Jersey; Moville, Iowa; Rocky Mount, North Carolina; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Wenatchee, Washington. Over 5,000 youth expected to benefit.
Following are details for each community’s BTF grant:
- Cleveland County ALWS Baseball, Inc. (Shelby, NC): The grant will provide funding for the purchase and installation of Musco Lighting equipment for Keeter Stadium at Shelby High School, which was selected to host the American Legion World Series (ALWS) and will continue to host until 2014. The field is also used by various baseball and softball programs, with over 2,400 youth expected to benefit.
- City of Pocatello (Pocatello, ID): The grant will fund the renovation of four fields in the OK Ward softball complex. The funds will benefits nearly 550 youth, including the ASA Junior Olympic Fastpitch Softball program and Shoeshone-Bannock Indian Reservation.
- City of Passaic (Passaic, NJ): The grant will provide funding for the reconstruction of Roberto Clemente Field at Pulaski Park, which includes three youth baseball fields. The City plans to renovate the fields in Pulaski Park in order to serve nearly 1,000 players, including a new girls’ softball program of 400 players, the Boys and Girls Club youth program and the local youth baseball league.
- City of Moville (Moville, IA): The grant will provide funding for field renovations as part of the City’s three-phase renovation project, which began in 2010 to address field conditions and to create a girls’ softball field. In 2010, the City also received a grant from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund for the first phase of the renovation. Over 250 children are expected to benefit.
- Buck Leonard Association for Sports and Human Enrichment, Inc. (Rocky Mount, NC): The grant will provide funding for the purchase of equipment and uniforms and travel team expenses. Founded in 1999 by family members of former MLB player Buck Leonard, the organization supports the Buck Leonard RBI League. The league plans to increase tournament opportunities nearly 375 players, who are primarily low-income, minority children.
- Baseball Parents, Inc. (Rapid City, SD): The grant will provide funding for a new backstop and dugouts at Floyd Fitzgerald Stadium, which will help improve player safety for over 70 children, player retention and attract national tournaments. Baseball Parents, Inc. is the governing body of the Post 22 American Legion baseball program in Rapid City. For 32 years, the organization has overseen operation of the program and now hosts more than 200 games at the stadium.
- Wenatchee Youth Baseball (Wenatchee, WA): The grant will provide funding for field renovations that will help improve playability of the field and player safety. The organization, which has provided recreational youth baseball in Wenatchee Valley for more than 50 years, plans to renovate its four fields within Morris Park, which serve 500-700 players each year.