Moosic, Pa. - There's something special about a baseball diamond. Add kids to the scene and you have the storybook home run. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) hope to help area youth enjoy America's pastime all the more with the 2014 edition of the team's Adopt-a-Field Program.
What began a few years ago with two teams getting the annual makeover, one each from Lackawanna County and Luzerne County, has blossomed into a four-field program. In 2014, that will consist of one high school field, one softball field, and two youth fields. Field nominations should be sent to the RailRiders' community relations manager Rachel Mark (email@example.com). Entries from both Lackawanna and Luzerne counties will be accepted and they should include both photos of the fields in need of renovation and related contact information.
The RailRiders will select the top five fields in each category. From there, online voting will determine the winners. The voting will run from April 6-13 with the victors announced on April 14.
"We want every kid in our community to play at their own version of PNC Field," said RailRiders team president/GM Rob Crain. "That means a high-quality field that can be properly maintained for years to come. I love this program. We as a franchise are committed to doing what we can for our neighbors and this is one of the most fun and directly impactful efforts we can provide. We owe a lot of thanks to Bob Seltzer at Fisher & Son, Company and Pro's Choice for their generous donations of materials to make this all possible."
The program affords an individualized evaluation and athletic field maintenance clinic to the chosen sites. More than the initial facelift care of the RailRiders' raw manpower and expertise, the teams will be taught how to keep up that same professional-level look for years to come.
"This is a great opportunity to provide those maintaining local fields with the knowledge needed to maintain a safe and beautiful playing surface," said the team's director of field operations, Steve Horne. "Many leagues don't have the tools, manpower or guidance needed to keep their fields in good shape. Hopefully, after our crew comes in to help get them started, we can develop a plan that will benefit the leagues and their players for years to come."
Media members and fans will be invited to document and watch the progress throughout the day at each site. The first makeover will take place on April 29. Other dates and all sites will be announced at a later date once voting concludes.
The RailRiders' 2014 season begins on Thursday, April 3 when the club kicks off a seven-game road trip at Syracuse against the Chiefs (Washington Nationals).The home slate commences a week later on Thursday, April 10 when the Chiefs visit PNC Field for a four-game series and homestand. For season ticket information or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.