To kick off the holiday weekend, here are the Top 10 Things You May (or May Not) Know about BTF:
1. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a JOINT initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
2. A joint initiative like BTF doesn’t exist in any of the other major leagues.
4. BTF receives over 400 applications EVERY year.
5. BTF has awarded over 600 grants totaling more than $22 million to recipients all over the globe since 1999.
6. Any tax-exempt organizations and 501(c)(3) organizations involved in youth baseball and/or softball may apply for a BTF grant.
7. The BTF selection process is as follows:
– Letter of inquiry review
– Application review and evaluation
– Site visit
– Final selection by the BTF Board of Directors
8. The first step in the BTF application process, is to submit a Letter of Inquiry that describes your organization and outlines your project. Click here for a more detailed description and instructions.
9. BTF grants are awarded on a quarterly basis.
10. All correspondence (including Letters of Inquiry and Applications) should be sent to: Baseball Tomorrow Fund, 31st Floor, 245 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10167.
Have a great weekend and here’s to a wonderful Summer 2012!
It’s a May weekend full of BTF Equipment Days!
Last year, the Astros collected more than 250 baseball and softball items which ranged from balls and bats to cleats and uniforms. The Blue Jays collected nearly 200 items and $4,000 in cash donations. Once complete, items and cash were given to a grant recipient of each club’s choice. The Blue Jays chose the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, the largest social housing provider in Canada with nearly 164,000 low and moderate-income tenants in 58,500 households throughout Toronto. The Astros collected items for Houston RB,I a nonprofit organization that provides Houston youths the opportunity to learn and play the game of baseball.
Let’s see if they can out-do themselves from the previous year and supply this year’s Equipment Day grant recipients, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, The Toronto Rookie League and, once again, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation with more gear.
This year marks the eighth season that the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has collaborated with Major League Baseball to bring the league wide Equipment Day initiative. Since 2005, the BTF/MLB Equipment Day initiative has collected nearly 100,000 pieces of equipment and approximately $1,250,000 in cash donations has benefited organizations in need.
Thus far, the Kansas City Royals and the San Diego Padres have completed their Equipment Days. We’ll be tallying the results and sharing each club’s figures soon on our Facebook and Twitter pages. May is the kick-off month meaning it’s just the beginning for the BTF/MLB Equipment Day initiative. Go to our website to see when your favorite MLB team is hosting their Equipment Day.
A “Five-Tool” baseball player is described as a “got it all player”; a well-rounded, consistent player. A “Five-Tool” player excels at five main tools and below, is Kurcab’s take on becoming a “five tool” sports field manager:
- Equipment, applications and treatment: simply having the skills to use the equipment, understand application, and apply proper treatments.
- Field preparation: the “heart and soul of the profession.” Preparation is combining the necessary skills and talents to prepare a quality field. Kurcab encourages those interested in sports field maintenance to apprentice for three-five years to gain experience and hone skills.
- Turfgrass science/turfgrass management: being formally educated in the science and physics of the ins and outs of sports field maintenance. Kurcab recommends a four- year degree, but points to the availability of many two-year programs and the explosion of available internet programs.
- Event management/turfgrass interactions: get involved in meetings and plans for several local events. Jump in, provide your expertise and make sure everything is done correctly to protect the field from unnecessary damage.
- Business skills: Kurcab serves up his list of the necessary business skills for a field sports manager to have: communication skills, the ability to manage a budget, human relations skills, the ability to be a good planner and the ability to be an exceptional project manager.
According to Kurcab’s former professor at Colorado State University, “There are no grass problems, only people problems.”
To read the entire article in Sports Field Management Magazine click here. Check out the photo below from BTF’s Field Maintenance Clinic with the Detroit Tigers grounds crew, and as always, check the Baseball Tomorrow Fund website, Facebook and Twitter pages for daily tips, articles and field maintenance resources.
As we head into the first weekend of May we can’t help but feel excited about all that has happened this week and all that is coming up in the next few. The beginning of May, although it may have kicked off on a rainy note here in New York, is in my mind the official start to spring and announces that summer is right around the corner.
Last Saturday BTF attended the grand field opening and lighting ceremony for Tobyhanna Little League in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Little League was awarded more than $95,000 from The Baseball Tomorrow Fund for the installation of Musco Sports Lighting on fields at its home facility. The facility serves over 300 youth players and the hope is that the lighting will increase player and parent participation by creating the opportunity for evening games and practices.
BTF executive director, Cathy Bradley, attended the ceremony and said it was quite the celebratory event. She described it as including “Turkey Trays” of raffle gift bags and baskets, rides in the local fire department truck basket towering over the newly light field and photos with friends and fans alike. About 17 youth teams and 200 people were present and the new Musco lights cast a warm glow over the clear, spring evening. (Photo credit: Melissa Neihard)
In other exciting news, Thursday marked the official kick off to Equipment Day 2012! The Kansas City Royals started things off right by hosting a two day drive during the Yankees home stand. Players’ wives and volunteers were charged with collecting donated baseball and softball equipment and cash before the games. Giveaways for participating included signed baseballs and photos from your player of choice…how cool is that?! Stay tuned for the results report and photos of the event coming soon!
Saturday May 5: Louisa Little League lighting ceremony, Louisa, VA
Sunday May 6: San Diego Padres Equipment Day, Petco Park
Saturday May 19: Toronto Blue Jays Equipment Day, Rogers Centre Skydome
Sunday May 20: Houston Astros Equipment Day, Minute Maid Park
Have a great weekend!