On Thursday, April 14, four youth ball fields will be renovated in under 24 hours as part of the ‘4 in 24’ field renovation project, a partnership between the ValleyCats, BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets
TROY, NY- The Tri-City ValleyCats have named Guilderland Little League, Mechanicville Stillwater Little League, Nassau Baseball Association, and Upstate Premier Baseball in Schenectady as the four youth leagues whose field will be renovated as part of the ‘4 in 24’ field renovation project on Thursday, April 14. Each chosen field will receive new sod placed on the infield, a rebuilding of the pitcher’s mound and home plate areas, raking and grading of the infield dirt, cutting the baselines to the correct specifications, and more, all in a 24 hour time period.
The renovations will begin at 7:00 a.m. and continue throughout the night if needed. The ‘4 in 24’ is the marquee event and kick-off of the Community Grounds Crew Program, which is a collaborative effort between the ValleyCats and corporate partners BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets, to assist local youth leagues with maintenance and upkeep of their playing fields.
“We are excited to continue the Community Grounds Crew partnership and ‘4 in 24’ project to provide safe and well-maintained fields for local children and families to utilize,” said ValleyCats General Manager, Matt Callahan. “Along with our partners, BlueShield and Hannaford, this remains an important initiative for our organization in supporting youth development throughout the Capital Region community.”
2016 marks the sixth consecutive year of the Community Grounds Crew, and this important community initiative would not be possible without the support of the ValleyCats partners, who have aided in supplying the necessary resources and volunteer commitment to complete these renovations.
“Our company and our employees look forward to supporting the 4 in 24’ program each year,” said Dr. Kirk Panneton, Regional Executive and Medical Director, BlueShield of Northeastern New York. “By transforming 24 fields in six years, this program has given children in our community additional opportunities to play, learn, and be healthy.”
“Youth development and wellness are two of the things that matter most to our communities and to Hannaford Supermarkets,” said Brian Fabre, community relations specialist for the grocer. “Through this partnership with the ValleyCats and BlueShield, we are proud to provide young people with wonderfully improved facilities for healthy play and for growth as individuals and as members of a team.”
The efforts will also be assisted by Admar Construction and Turface, who contribute some of the necessary equipment and materials. Additional support comes from ‘Cats Care, the ValleyCats’ arm of the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation.
2016 ‘4 in 24’ Youth League Snapshots:
Guilderland Little League
Keenholts Park, 6363 Frenchs Mill Road
Altamont, NY 12009
With over 50 teams and 500+ players, Guilderland is one of the largest leagues in the Capital Region. Guilderland Little League serves a vital role in their community by providing opportunities for children ages 4-12 to learn and play baseball.
“The Tri-City ValleyCats 4 in 24 Program award comes at a great time for Guilderland Little League. This support allows us to maintain some of the best athletic fields in the Capital District and will help us to prepare for upcoming showcase events the Guilderland Little League will be hosting this year such as Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run Competition on May 1st and the New York State 10 Year Old All Star Tournament in July.”
-Jon Phillips, President of the League’s Board of Directors
Mechanicville Stillwater Little League
George H. Pickett Field: B Field
999 Elizabeth Street
Mechanicville, NY 12118
Mechanicville/Stillwater Little League (MSLL) is a non-profit organization serving over 250 families each year throughout most of the Mechanicville /Stillwater area. MSLL offers a fun and competitive baseball experience for boys and girls ages 7 through 13. Our baseball programs focus on the development of baseball skills, sportsmanship, and a love for the game of baseball, all in a fun, family-oriented community.
“The Mechanicville Stillwater Little League is thrilled to be selected for the ValleyCats ‘4 in 24’ program for 2016. These improvements will help to provide the best experience possible while improving the safety of the Field for the players, umpires, and coaches. The Board is grateful to have the opportunity to bring the George H. Pickett Fields up to the standard of excellence that both our players and communities deserve.”
-John P. DelBalso, President, Mechanicville Stillwater Little League
Nassau Baseball Association
James B. Lamb Field
9 John Street
Nassau, NY 12123
Nassau Baseball was established in 1956 and has a mission to provide safe and affordable baseball to children in their area ages 4-12 years old. The league currently serves over 130 kids and includes a scholarship program for children that may otherwise be unable to play.
“The families of Nassau Baseball Association are very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Tri City Valleycats and their great sponsors to renovate our field. When our league was founded sixty years ago the goal was to bring the game of baseball to all of the children of Nassau and our surrounding communities no matter what their skill level, family income or any other situation that may prevent a child from participating. With the help of our community, volunteers and local businesses over the past sixty years we have accomplished this goal by keeping our registrations fees one of the lowest in the capital region. Over the last couple of years our field has deteriorated to the point where it has become a safety issue for the children. Going into the 2016 season we as a league were going to have to make some tough decisions as far as field repairs to make it safe again. With the estimated field repairs way over our available budget we were going to be forced with either raising our registration fees or and risk pushing families away or keep playing on an unsafe field. With being selected for the 4 in 24 project we will now be able to keep our registration fees at an affordable rate for all families and have a safe field to play on again. We as a league and a community could not be more grateful for this opportunity. We look forward to not only repairing our field but also learning how to properly maintain it so that we can have another sixty years of youth baseball!”
-Jeff Pearce, President, Nassau Baseball Association
Upstate Premier Baseball
4th Street & Campbell Avenue (Bellevue Neighborhood)
Schenectady, NY 12306
Upstate Baseball recently took over this neglected field adjacent to Hillhurst Park in the Bellevue neighborhood of Schenectady. The revitalization of this field will provide opportunities for children within that community to get involved in the game of baseball. The revitalized location will be utilized by three youth teams to start (ages 10-12), with the goal of expanding each year. This project will open up possibilities for kids from the neighborhood to participate in youth baseball by converting this vacant space into a safe and usable field.
“Upstate Premier Baseball is thrilled to have been chosen for the 2016 ‘4 in 24’ program. This will be a huge step for our program and the city of Schenectady. This will enable our current players as well as future players from Schenectady, a place to play for years to come. On behalf of Bill Creighton and all of our current players, we want to thank the ValleyCats for selecting us, and we can’t say enough about the ‘4 in 24’ program.”
-Dom LeMorta, President, Upstate Premier Baseball