Cleveland Indians renovate baseball fields Fields for the Future
Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center 8611 Hough Avenue May 10,2018
The Cleveland Indians hosted the fourth annual Fields for the Future project on Thursday, May 10 at Thurgood Marshall Recreation on Cleveland's East Side.
In collaboration with the City of Cleveland, the Motz Group and Cleveland Indians Community Partners Minutemen, Pepco/Victory Park Ohio, Electronic Merchant Systems, Car Parts Warehouse and McDonald Hopkins, both baseball fields at this site were renovated: Johnny Roscoe Field and Fred Drake Field.
In addition to the field renovations, The Shelly Company has donated new concrete slabs for the dugouts and The Davey Tree Expert Company is donating 10 trees, which will be planted throughout the surrounding park with the help of volunteers from Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Davey Tree. The trees being planted are Bur Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Red Oak and Shingle Oak.
Volunteers fixing up the park
BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence helped to coordinate volunteers from the Cleveland Indians, McDonald Hopkins and Pepco to conduct several clean up and painting projects around the park. With support from MLB's Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a field maintenance clinic will also be provided to City of Cleveland staff who maintain the field to ensure the renovations will be maintained.
Indians catcher Yan Gomes and his wife Jenna, who made a financial donation to support the project, City of Cleveland Assitant Director of Public Works Kim Johnson, City of Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones, State Representative Stephanie Howse, and staff from U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge's office were on hand to unveil renovations. Local youth then played a game on the newly renovated field.
"Our Fields for the Future program is a key piece of our long-term goal to improve the quality of youth baseball in Cleveland," said Indians Executive Director of
Community Impact Rebecca Kodysh. "We work with a number of valued partners on the project, which could not happen without their support."
This program will serve as a precursor to Play Ball Weekend taking place May 26-27, which was launched by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball as the sport's largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and informal baseball activities.
The Fields for the Future program began in 2015 at Luke Easter Park on Cleveland's East Side. In 2016, a field was renovated at Gunning Park and in 2017, a field was renovated at Halloran Park. According to the City of Cleveland, field usage improved tremendously after the renovations, with the number of games played at the field growing four-fold.
After a day of volunteering and renovation a ceremony was held. Indians Executive Director of Community Impact Rebecca Kodysh explained the program and thanked the sponsors and volunteers as well as Indians owner Paul Dolan and Indians catcher Yan Gomes and his family for their continued support of the project.
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Paul and Karen Dolan with Yan Gomes and family
Next, Indians owner Paul Dolan thanked the sponsors and volunteers and Indians catcher Yan Gomes and his family for their continued financial and time support of the project.
Matt Kata, Manager, Youth Baseball Development for the Cleveland Indians spoke next and said that the project boils down to the opportunity for kids to play more baseball.
Kim Johnson, Assistant Director of Public Works, City of Cleveland
Ohio State Representative Stephanie Howse thanked the Dolans, Cleveland Indians and Yan Gomes and family.
She presented a plaque to Indians catcher Yan Gomes who told of growing up in Brazil with limited opportunities to play baseball so he and his wife are committed to renovating ballparks in Cleveland for youth to play.
Stephanie Howse presents plaque to Yan Gomes
Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes
Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones also thanked the Indians, catcher Yan Gomes, sponsors and volunteers for their commitment to the people of Ward 7.
Councilman Basheer Jones
At the end of the ceremony, Indians mascot Slider posed with catcher Yan Gomes and the kids.
Cleveland Indians mascot Slider
Cleveland Indians mascot Slider with Yan Gomes and kids
Then Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Yan Gomes and they posed for a group photo.