Renovation Celebration: 4 in 24 Fields Announced

Much time has passed since the idea for ’4 in 24′ was first put on the table, until last night when the four chosen leagues came together to celebrate the official announcement. 

It started with deciding on a name for the program. We knew that we were going to renovate four fields in twenty four hours, but what were we going to call it? It had to be something catchy and with a good ring to it. ’4 in 24′ seemed like the natural fit. 
Next step was to come up with a good eye catching logo. We decided that we’d like to incorporate a clock into the logo to designate the twenty four hour time span. Then to give it a baseball feel, we added the infield diamond and grass texture.
Next was to seek corporate sponsors, and were very grateful when Friendly’s, Price Chopper, CDTA and The Brickman Group “stepped up to the plate” to help aid the ValleyCats in this exciting project. With such great partnerships, the over one thousand children who make up the four leagues will be able to begin their 2011 baseball season with essentially a brand new playing surface. 
Applications were accepted from almost 40 leagues throughout the Capital Region, making for an extremely tough selection process.
“We received a great response from youth leagues all around the Capital Region and would like to thank them all for participating. After a challenging selection process, we have chosen four fields that we feel best fit the objective and scope of this project. Expanding our annual field renovation program is just the next step in our mission to provide safe and well-maintained fields for youth sports organizations throughout the community. As an ambassador for the great game of baseball, we will hold true to that mission for years to come,” ValleyCats Vice President/General Manager Rick Murphy said.

All leagues that were not chosen will receive an informational sheet on maintaining their field along with an instructional video on how to properly rebuild the pitcher’s mound and home plate areas. Also, this will definitely not be the last year that field renovations will take place and we encourage each league to apply again next season.

Without further ado, here is the list of the four chosen fields that will be renovated:

Westland Hills Little League

      LOCATION: 56 Lawnridge Ave, Albany, NY 12208

      TEAMS: 40-44  PLAYERS: 500-600  AGES: 4-16

      2011 Opening Day: April 23, 2011

      League President: Michael Patnode

      Facts:  – In operation for over 75 years and serves the inner city boys and girls             

                    - Offers scholarships to those that cannot afford to play

 

Ballston Spa Jr. Baseball League

      LOCATION: Malta Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 12020

      TEAMS: 24-26  PLAYERS: N/A  AGES: 8-13+

      2011 Opening Day: April, 2011

      League President: Neal Hastey

      Facts:  – Relies solely on sponsors and league fees to run program/maintain facilities            

                    - Fields named after Abner Doubleday, who was born in Ballston Spa

 

Northside Little League

      LOCATION: Van Vranken Ave & Vandebogart, Schenectady, NY 12308

      TEAMS: 21  PLAYERS: 250+  AGES: 5-12

      2011 Opening Day: April 23, 2011

      League President: Tony Derenzo

      Facts:  – Located in a lower income community, it is a safe haven for local children          

                    - Established in 1950′s, league was once a crown jewel with a large 

                       enrollment and several district championships.

 

Scotia-Glenville Little League

      LOCATION: Collins Park, Schonowee Ave, Scotia, NY 12302

      TEAMS: N/A  PLAYERS: 300  AGES: 5-12

      2011 Opening Day: April 25, 2011

      League President: Joe Gatta

      Facts:  – Divisions consist of Majors, AAA, AA, Instructional and T-Ball

        – League has about 25 board members volunteering their time to keep the league

          functioning


The announcement last night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy was made by members of the ValleyCats front office and title sponsor’s Friendly’s, Price Chopper, CDTA and the Brickman Group. Former standout athlete from the Capital Region and current New York State Assemblyman James Tedisco was also in attendance. Most importantly, each league had outstanding representation. League presidents, vice presidents, parents and children all showed up in droves.


Here’s a photo recap of the night:


Photo’s from past field renovation projects lined the countertop along with the ValleyCats championship trophy:

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ValleyCats Media Relations Manager Chris Chenes kicked off the announcement by welcoming all in attendance:

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Chris then introduced ValleyCats Vice President & General Manager Rick Murphy to make the formal announcement:

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Each league brought a number of children, most dressed in their little league uniform shirts & caps:

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Stadium Operations Manager Keith Sweeney was next to the podium to outline the strategy on how the four fields will be renovated in a 24-hr span and also what renovations would take place:

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To outline what Keith mentioned, here’s how the renovations are going to happen. They will take place beginning the morning of Friday, April 15th and will be completed by Saturday morning April 16th. To begin the process, the ValleyCats will separate their crew into two groups. One will begin in Ballston Spa and one will begin at Westland Hills in Albany. After those fields are completed, all will diverge upon Schenectady and begin work at the Northside and Scotia-Glenville Little League fields. The ‘Cats front office, grounds crew, and many volunteers will work around the clock to get each field completed.


Assemblyman James Tedisco joined us for the announcement and we were very happy to have him. He grew up in the Schenectady area, was a standout basketball player growing up (he joked about just being able to see over the podium, but yes he was a great ballplayer), and he knows how important it is for the youth of the Capital Region to have good facilities to grow up on. 


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Each of the title sponsors were represented as well, with each saying a few words. First up was Albany Branch Manager for The Brickman Group, Ryan Panarese:

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CDTA Director of Marketing, Jonathan Scherzer:

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Albany Market Manager for Friendly’s Restaurants, David Bailey:
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Price Chopper Vice President of Public Relations & Consumer Services, Mona Golub:
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At the end of the program, everyone came together for photos. As you can see, the turnout was tremendous.
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The photo below is courtesy of J.S. Carras of the Troy Record. You can read their article written by Andrew Santillo on the ’4 in 24′ program here.
Screen shot 2011-02-18 at 1.45.04 PM.pngWe’ll now coordinate with each league to come up with a detailed plan for April’s renovations and before you know it, Opening Day will be here.

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