Community Grounds Crew
In 2012, the ValleyCats and BlueShield of Northeastern New York formed a strong community partnership known as the Community Grounds Crew, an initiative to assist local youth leagues with maintenance and upkeep of their fields throughout the spring and summer. Their mission is to provide the youth of the Capital Region with a safe place to play, learn, grow, and most importantly, have fun.
Leagues interested in having their field considered for 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 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.
- 2014: Twin Town Little League in North Greenbush, Spring Youth Baseball in Troy, Schenectady Little League, and Berne-Knox-Westerlo Little League.