TROY, NY- The Tri-City ValleyCats and their corporate partners, BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets, have teamed up on the 7th Annual '4 in 24' Field Renovation Project, where four youth ball fields will be renovated in a 24-hour time period on Thursday, April 13.
The four leagues to receive the work will be Amsterdam Youth Baseball, Colonie Little League, Tri-Village Little League, and RC Little League. Each 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 much more.
"Since we began the '4 in 24' project back in 2011, it has been one of our most impactful community outreach events each year that has positively affected thousands of youth ballplayers within the Capital Region," said ValleyCats General Manager Matt Callahan. "We can't thank BlueShield and Hannaford enough for their tremendous support of this important initiative."
This year marks the seventh consecutive '4 in 24' project, and upon its completion, 28 youth ballfields will have been renovated. What has made it all possible is the support of the ValleyCats partners, who have aided in supplying the necessary resources and volunteer commitment to complete these renovations.
"BlueShield knows the importance of supporting programs that provide healthy opportunities for the children throughout our community to play and learn," said Dr. Kirk Panneton, Vice President, Regional Executive and Medical Director, BlueShield of Northeastern New York. "Our company and employees have helped to transform more than 24 fields since partnering with the Tri-City ValleyCats, and we are thrilled to support the '4 in 24' program again this year."
"Youth development and wellness are two of the things that matter most to our communities and to Hannaford," said Hannaford Supermarkets Community Relations Specialist Brian Fabre. "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."
Work on each field will commence at daybreak, and will continue through the night if needed. The efforts will also be assisted by BrightView (the ValleyCats official grounds crew), Admar Construction, Turface, and SiteOne Landscape Supplies, who are contributing some of the necessary equipment, materials, and volunteers. Additional support comes from 'Cats Care, the ValleyCats' arm of the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation.
2017 '4 in 24' Youth League Snapshots
Amsterdam Youth Baseball
Field Address: Lower Veterans Field, Locust Avenue, Amsterdam, NY 12010
Opening Day: Saturday, April 22
Over 625 kids and 70 adult volunteers devote thousands of hours of cumulative time to making Amsterdam Youth Baseball run, and are the only organization in Montgomery and Fulton County that offers baseball to youngsters in the spring, summer and fall. They have T-Ball (5-6), Rookies (7-8), Minors (9-10) and Majors (11-12) as well as a travel team for each age group - 9U, 10U, 11U and 12U.
The 2017 renovation will focus on their lower Veteran's Field, in order to make it a 50'/70' field so that youngsters ages 5-12 can play. This renovation will allow for the field to also serve as a practice field, which the league doesn't currently have. With over 600 children, this second field is crucial to providing adequate practice and playing time for each team.
"We appreciate everything that the ValleyCats do for local youth baseball leagues. We were in dire need of a secondary field and now we are able to accommodate the influx of kids ages 4-12 who play in our spring league as well as our fall league that had 18 teams last season - the largest in our 67-year history."
-Paul Antonelli, President, Amsterdam Youth Baseball
Colonie Little League
Field Address: Pee Wee Field, Cook Park, Colonie, NY 12205
Opening Day: Saturday, April 29
With 32 teams and almost 400 registered members, Colonie Little League has a big impact on their community. However, their Pee Wee level field is in need of repair, as the mound has sunken down, the home plate area has very poor drainage, which has caused an uneven batters box, and the infield grass is uneven and unsafe. Given the importance of providing a safe and fun place for the youngest level players to play and learn, where the love for the game is born, this project is of utter importance.
"I wanted to take a moment to extend our most sincere thank you for selecting Colonie Little League for this year's 4 in 24. You have no idea how excited we are to have received notification that we were selected for the field makeover. It was truly a welcomed surprise and will save us time and money.
It is so exciting and terrific that the ValleyCats and their partners sponsor programs that continue to give to communities like ours. Having the field redone will be great for our kids and the league for years to come.
-Ron Filkins, President, Colonie Little League
Tri-Village Little League
Field Address: Magee Park, 23 Kenwood Avenue, Glenmont, NY 12077
Opening Day: Monday, April 24
The Community Grounds Crew will be renovating Tri-Village's Farm field, where the infield and mounds are dire need of replacement. The field also has grading issues which need to be resolved in order to improve water run-off. Tri-Village currently serves over 400 youth ballplayers aged 5-12.
"On behalf of Tri-Village Little League, our board of directors and all the kids that play in our league, I want to thank the Tri-City ValleyCats for selecting our organization to be part of their community field renovation program. The ValleyCats' commitment to youth baseball is extraordinary and this is just another example of the tremendous support they are providing to the local baseball communities and the community at large. Having one of our fields selected for renovation is a tremendous support to our league from a financial perspective, but more importantly, it will create a safer and more enjoyable baseball experience for our kids."
-Tyler Kattrein, President, Tri-Village Little League
RC Little League
Field Address: Major Field, 2445 1st Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12303
Opening Day: Friday, April 28
RC's Major field, which is in need of a complete overhaul of the infield, will be the recipient of the field renovation at their LCW Complex in Rotterdam. RC Little League, which was the result of a merger between Rotterdam and Carman Little Leagues in 2014, serves 430 players across 43 total teams.
RC Little League is anxiously awaiting the start of its 2017 season. We have many exciting changes for the league, as we have begun to work on player development for all divisions. RC Little Leagues major excitement is that we are the recipient of the Tri-City ValleyCats '4 in 24' field renovation program, which will renovate our Major field at the LCW Complex in Rotterdam, NY into a field of dreams. We are anxiously looking forward to volunteering along with the Tri-City ValleyCats and their partners to create a safe and well-maintained field that our players, managers, coaches, their families, and the community will be anxious to come, play and/or watch a ball game!
-Chad Quinlivan, President, RC Little League