Community Grounds Crew
The Tri-City ValleyCats are now accepting applications from youth leagues across the Capital Region for the 4th Annual '4 in 24' youth field renovations. The renovations will take place in a 24-hour time period in early April 2014, as four chosen youth fields will have new sod placed on their infield while also seeing their pitcher's mound and home plate areas rebuilt.
Leagues interested in having their field considered for the '4 in 24' or other Community Grounds Crew renovations must complete an application that can be found by clicking the link below. Leagues are required to submit photos of the field along with their application.
The '4 in 24' is the kick-off event for the Community Grounds Crew, an expanded initiative with the assistance from BlueShield of Northeastern New York. This program will undertake additional projects and renovations on numerous other youth fields throughout the spring and summer.
In order to be eligible for the '4 in 24' renovation, applications must be returned by Monday, February 3. Those submitted beyond that date or not selected for the '4 in 24', will remain in consideration for the Community Grounds Crew program, which will accept and evaluate applications on an ongoing basis.
The efforts of the Community Grounds Crew will be recognized at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium during the ValleyCats 2014 season. Youth leagues from across the area will take part in Youth Baseball Night tentatively scheduled for June 16 and Softball Night on June 24.
The ValleyCats' field renovations have been an annual tradition since 2003 when the first field was officially renovated by the 'Cats in South Troy, just one mile away from Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. Each year since, they have expanded upon its success.
Each project is also supported by the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation. Contributions come from past events such as the Capital Region Craft Brewers Festival, hosted by the ValleyCats and Brown's Brewing Company, and two corporate baseball tournaments that take place at "The Joe" including the Battle of the Beverages and the Capital Region Series.
The field renovation began in 2003 right in the ValleyCats backyard, who together with The Brickman Group, renovated South Troy Little League.
In 2004, the ValleyCats and The Brickman Group refurbished DeMercurio Field at Veterans Memorial Park, home of Albany's American Little League. The work completed at this park included rebuilding of the pitchers' mound and cutting of the baselines. Brickman supplied the materials and the head groundskeeper at Joseph L. Bruno stadium, oversaw the project.
In the spring of 2007, the ValleyCats again teamed up with The Brickman Group to restore the Watervliet Little League field. The work completed on this field included rebuilding of the pitchers' mounds, cutting of the baselines, leveling of the infield, repairs to the warning track, mowing the grass, and general clean-up. The ValleyCats front office staff as well as volunteers from the Watervliet Little League donated their time to make completion of the project possible.
The ValleyCats, The Brickman Group and Capital Communications Federal Credit Union joined together in 2008 to help repair Berkley Park, home of Cohoes Little League.
The details include rebuilding the pitcher's mound to regulation standards, filling in the home plate area and cutting the baselines. The infield was raked and graded and the bases were painted. The warning track has been dug out, re-sodded and crushed stone was laid down.
The tradition continued in 2009 with the partnership of the 'Cats, Brickman and CapCom, as Lansingburgh Little League became the next field to receive a facelift. The challenge during this project was to install a complete warning track, which all of the volunteers were able to do successfully. Yellow fence toppers were also installed on three of Lansingburgh's fields, and a new batting cage net was added along with two backstop pads.
In 2011 the Tri-City ValleyCats embarked on the ambitious '4 in 24' project to renovate four local youth playing fields in a twenty-four hour time period.
'4 in 24' Field Renovation History
- 2011: Westland Hills in Albany, Ballston Spa Jr. Baseball League in Ballston Spa, Northside Little League in Schenectady and Scotia-Glenville Little League in Scotia.
- 2012: Cambridge Valley Athletic Association, South Colonie Youth Baseball, Coxsackie Little League and Waterford Little League.
- 2013: Green Island Little League, Hudson Valley Little League in Ravena, Menands Junior Baseball and National Little League of Albany.