TROY, NY - The Tri-City ValleyCats and their field renovation teammates, BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets, are set to renovate four more youth ballfields in 2018. The 8th Annual '4 in 24' Field Renovation Project will take place on Wednesday, April 11, where each of the chosen fields will undergo a necessary overhaul.
The four leagues to receive the work will be American Little League in Albany, Cairo-Durham Little League, Scotia-Glenville Girls Softball, and Round Lake Malta Youth Baseball.
Each baseball field will have their old infield grass replaced with brand new sod, their pitcher's mound and home plate areas completely rebuilt, the infield surface leveled, graded and raked, the baselines measured and cut to the correct specifications, and all new bases, a pitching rubber and home plate installed. The softball field will receive the same scope of work, but without grass on the infield.
"When we first embarked on this ambitious project in 2011, we felt that it would have an enormous positive impact on many youth ballplayers within the Capital Region," said ValleyCats General Manager Matt Callahan. "Now in its eighth year, and 30 plus leagues later, the need and project scope continues to grow exponentially. We are incredibly thankful to BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets who have been instrumental in keeping the program going strong."
Both longtime supporters of this important community initiative, BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets have aided in supplying the necessary resources and volunteer commitment to complete these renovations.
"BlueShield knows how important programs like '4 in 24' are to ensuring children in our community have access to healthy activities," said Dr. Kirk Panneton, Vice President, Regional Executive and Medical Director, BlueShield of Northeastern New York. "Through our partnership with the Tri-City ValleyCats, our company and employees have helped transform over 30 fields and we are thrilled to be a part of this community initiative again this year."
"Active kids make for healthy communities, which is why youth sports are so important. Hannaford is pleased to once again partner with the Tri-City ValleyCats to provide young people with wonderfully improved facilities for healthy play and growth," said Hannaford Supermarkets Community Relations Specialist Brian Fabre. "We look forward to seeing kids throughout the greater Capital Region rush the field this spring as they learn the values of teamwork and dedication."
Work on each field will commence at daybreak on April 11 and will continue through the night if necessary. The efforts will also be assisted by Profile Products and Turface Athletics, who are contributing some of the necessary equipment and materials. Additional support comes from 'Cats Care, the ValleyCats' arm of the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation.
2018 '4 in 24' Youth League Snapshots
American Little League
Urban youth league serving approximately 200 children ages 4 to 12 playing at all Little League levels. The field is in much need of repair, and these renovations will make it a safer surface to play on.
"The Albany American Little League would like to thank the Tri-City ValleyCats and their partners for their timeless efforts, support, and commitment to Little League Baseball. The renovation of our field will help our players develop into young athletes, provide our youth a safe and structured environment where they can grow to become productive caring members of our communities. The work that the ValleyCats will do for our field will add value to the community and place smiles on the faces of our little leaguers."
Cairo-Durham Little League
10 teams serving multiple towns, approximately 150 children ages 4-12. The mound, home plate, and baselines all need significant work.
"During the past several years, little league participation has been falling, which has affected our ability to help afford all things needed to improve the conditions for the kids. Last year we focused on getting our kids all new catching equipment and renovating our girls softball field (all new dirt, excavation and a new drainage system). This year is on new bats and our main field really needs attention. Your help with our field will help improve the main baseball field, not just cosmetically but in functionality as well. This huge gift will allow us to focus on buying a machine to pull our rascal in order to maintain the 5 fields we play on.
It truly is an honor and a gift to be chosen and I am beyond grateful for your generosity. Look forward to seeing this all come together. Thank you again!"
Scotia-Glenville Girls Softball
The league serves over 100 girls ages 4-18, with approximately nine teams. The application was submitted by two girls that play in the league, as part of an initiative to earn a Silver Award through their Girl Scout Troop. The field is overgrown with weeds in portions, home plate is missing, and the pitcher's mound is not in the correct location.
"On behalf of Scotia Glenville Girls Softball League, our board of directors and our girls, we would like to thank the Tri-City ValleyCats organization as well as their sponsors, BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford for awarding us the 4 in 24 field renovation for 2018. As a small community and league, we rely on volunteers for all field maintenance and fundraising. We appreciate the ValleyCats commitment to our local communities and the betterment of our area youth sports programs. Our secondary field was in dire need of renovation. Fixing this field will ensure that all of our girls share the same great, and more importantly safe, softball experience!"
"Working towards our Girl Scout Silver Award has been an amazing experience, and having the Tri-City ValleyCats be part of that journey is awesome. We are so excited and happy that our softball field is going to be redone and fixed!! It has been in rough condition for awhile and nobody has wanted to play on it. Now with your help it's going to be the best field ever! This will mean a lot to the younger kids and will hopefully bring more girls to the Scotia-Glenville Softball League!! Thank you again for choosing us and helping our Girl Scout Troop earn our Silver Award!"
Arrianna Stark and Maddie Cook
8th graders at Scotia-Glenville Middle School, Girl Scout Troop #2104
Round Lake Malta Youth Baseball
Round Lake Malta Youth Baseball serves approximately 140 players ages 5-10 across 12 teams. Portions of the infield are overgrown with weeds, and the mound and home plate areas need significant work.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be selected for the ValleyCat's 4 in 24 Field Renovation project. The native soil at our field is particularly challenging to maintain and this overhaul will bring both the financial investment and expertise that we lack to make a lasting improvement to the ball field. The ValleyCat's commitment to youth baseball programs is truly impressive. You make the kids feel like all-stars when they visit the stadium and I know they are going to feel like they made the big leagues when they step on to their newly renovated field! Thank you for supporting our players and the countless volunteers across the Tri-City area who work to bring a positive youth baseball experience to our children!"
Lori Sievers, President
Round Lake/Malta Youth Baseball
ABOUT THE '4 IN 24' FIELD RENOVATION PROJECT
The '4 in 24' Field Renovation Project is a collaborative effort between the ValleyCats, BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets that takes place each April. In less than 24 hours, four youth ball fields receive a complete infield overhaul. The project's mission is to assist local youth leagues with the maintenance and upkeep of their playing fields, allowing for a safe place for children to learn and play ball. Following the 2018 '4 in 24' project, over 30 fields will have been revamped, impacting thousands of local youth ballplayers.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.