Moosic, Pa. - When the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre baseball franchise spent 2012 on the road, it still had its home at heart. The team christened a program that focused on rejuvenating area Little League fields. Even though the now-RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) have a home of their own in the beautifully reconstructed PNC Field, the Adopt-a-Field Program is back and better than ever.
What began with two teams getting the annual makeover, one each from Lackawanna County and Luzerne County, has blossomed into a four-team program in 2013. A Facebook contest chose the four lucky recipients. It gets underway Wednesday, May 1 when Scranton's Marvine Dutch Gap Little League gets some love for its field. On June 3, the attention shifts to the Avoca/Dupont Little League. Come June 14, the RailRiders will adopt the South Scranton Little League field before closing things out on June 27 at Staback Park in Archbald.
"Let's spread the wealth a bit and bring the beauty of the new PNC Field to the Little League fields right here in our communities," said RailRiders team president/GM Rob Crain. "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."
The program provides an individualized evaluation and athletic field maintenance clinic to the chosen leagues. More than the initial facelift the RailRiders' raw manpower provides, the teams will be taught how to keep up that same professional-level look for years to come. Last season, Moosic Little League and Kingston/Forty Fort Little League were the benefactors of the program's launch.
"This is a great opportunity to provide those maintaining local Little League 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."
The makeover will get underway at 8 a.m. on each date listed above and will run until around 5 p.m. Media members and fans are invited to document and watch the progress throughout the day. Below are the addresses of the four sites:
Marvine Dutch Gap, 170 Wells, Scranton 18508
Avoca/Dupont, Mill & Commerce Streets, Avoca 18641
South Scranton, 430 Meadow Ave., Scranton 18505
Staback Park, Eynon Jermyn Rd., Archbald 18403
The RailRiders are in the midst of a nine-day, eight-game road trip before returning home for an eight-game homestand on Monday, May 6. It starts with the first of four against the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) at 6:35 p.m. Fans will be able to dine on just a few dimes with dollar hot dogs all night long at PNC Field. Great ticket packages, group deals and single-game tickets are available. With no upper deck at PNC Field anymore, every seat in the ballpark provides the supreme views and intimacy that make minor league baseball so special at incredibly affordable prices. For more information, please visit the team's official website, www.swbrailriders.com, or call 570-969-BALL (2255).
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.