April 2013

4 in 24 Renovation Recap!

The rain may have created a roadblock in completing the ‘4 in 24’ field renovations, but at the end of the day, four youth baseball fields had their fields renovated thanks to the support of BlueShield of Northeastern New York, league and city volunteers, Turface Athletics and Admar Supply Company.

It was a total team effort to revamp the ball fields at National Little League of Albany, Green Island Little League, Hudson Valley Little League in Ravena and Menands Junior Baseball. They all had their pitcher’s mound and home plate areas rebuilt, new sod placed on the infield, base paths straightened and new bases put in.

The ValleyCats front office staff was divided into four teams, and along with volunteers, began work at 8am on Sunday tearing up the old infield sod.

Menands Work 2

Old sod being cut out and taken away at the Menands Junior Baseball field.

Old sod all removed from Hudson Valley Little League in Ravena.

Old sod all removed from Hudson Valley Little League in Ravena.


New sod being laid at Hudson Valley Little League in Ravena.

The old pitcher’s mound and home plate were removed, re-measured and replaced with brand new ones:

Rebuilding the mound at Hudson Valley LL.

Rebuilding the mound at Hudson Valley LL.

Brand new plate.

Brand new plate.

The base paths were then measured to the correct specs and new bases were put in.


All of the sod lining the base paths, home plate and the pitcher’s mound was cut squarely.

Complete Basepath

National Little League of Albany completed base paths

Now for the before/after photos!

National Little League before:

National LL Action Pre4in24

National Little League after:

1st baseline after


Basepaths before


Complete Basepath 3

Photo Apr 15, 1 01 17 PM

Green Island Little League before:

photo 2

photo 1

Green Island Little League after:

Photo Apr 15, 3 26 06 PM

Photo Apr 15, 3 26 58 PM

Hudson Valley Little League before:



HV LL Complete 1




HV LL Complete 2

Menands Junior Baseball before:

Menands Before 1


Photo Apr 15, 1 37 54 PM


1st baseline before


Photo Apr 15, 1 37 00 PM

More photos of the renovations:

Tearing old sod

Sod in Albany had to be removed with heavy machinery due to the mud and weeds.

SouthPaw working

SouthPaw put in some time as well!

Menands Work 3

Menands Junior Baseball field

Coffee kept everyone going!

Coffee kept everyone going!


The crew at Hudson Valley!




Photo Apr 14, 9 22 29 AM

National Little League, Albany.

Photo Apr 14, 10 31 41 AM

Photo Apr 14, 12 17 47 PM

Photo Apr 14, 2 18 32 PM

Photo Apr 14, 2 20 13 PM

Photo Apr 14, 3 33 51 PM

Thank you to all the media who covered the ‘4 in 24’! We’re glad the Capital Region community was able to see the great things going on at these local fields! It’s all about the kids!

Photo Apr 14, 11 15 15 AM

Photo Apr 14, 11 13 00 AM

Photo Apr 14, 11 14 40 AM

Photo Apr 14, 11 12 46 AM

When it was all said and done 11 1/2 hours from when the project began, everyone was exhausted! But the entire project was worth it, and we look forward to seeing all the smiling faces on the kids when they have their Opening Day!

Photo Apr 14, 7 38 02 PM

‘Cats Care!

Rain doesn’t damper ‘Cats ‘4 in 24’ plans, work scheduled Sunday

Our 3rd Annual ‘4 in 24’ Youth Field Renovation Project is taking place this Sunday at National Little League of Albany, Green Island Little League, Menands Junior Baseball/Softball League and Hudson Valley Little League in Ravena.

Each of those four fields will be renovated in under 24 hours, seeing their pitcher’s mound and homeplate areas rebuilt, new sod being placed in the infield, new bases and more!

All the renovations were originally scheduled for Friday, but of course weather had to throw us a curveball! The good thing is, we are used to that.

On Wednesday and Friday we were able to get some work done in advance of Sunday. We rebuilt the mound and homeplate areas at the Menands Junior Baseball field and at National Little League. (With pop-up tents shielding the rain and sleet.)

Here are some photos:

Photo Apr 12, 8 22 02 AM (600x800)

National Little League of Albany (Albany’s original Little League).

Photo Apr 10, 6 15 44 PM (800x600)

Menands Junior Baseball

Photo Apr 10, 6 16 22 PM (800x600)

Making sure the measurements are correct at Menands.

Photo Apr 10, 6 16 43 PM (800x600)

Photo Apr 10, 6 17 08 PM (800x600)

The pop-up tents were key!

Photo Apr 10, 6 18 51 PM (800x600)

Our brand new Community Grounds Crew Ford pickup truck! BlueShield of Northeastern New York a huge key to our success!

Photo Apr 10, 6 20 26 PM (800x600)

Preparing to put in a new pitching rubber at Menands.

Photo Apr 11, 9 10 04 AM (800x600)

SouthPaw loves our new ‘Cats Care trailer!

Photo Apr 11, 9 11 06 AM (800x600)

The full rig! Now you can’ t miss us when we’re out in the community. Don’t forget to honk and say hello!

Photo Apr 12, 6 56 32 AM (800x600)

YNN’s Megan Cruz talking with Assistant General Manager Matt Callahan, explaining the process of rebuilding the pitcher’s mound at National Little League in Albany.

Photo Apr 12, 6 57 42 AM (800x600)

Megan Cruz interviewing Bryan Viggiani, National LL President.

Photo Apr 12, 7 14 11 AM (800x600)

Working on putting in a new homeplate at National LL.

Photo Apr 12, 7 15 34 AM (800x600)

Photo Apr 12, 7 16 12 AM (800x600)

Photo Apr 12, 7 28 25 AM (600x800)

Clay bricks are placed under the plate to give it a solid foundation.

Photo Apr 12, 7 47 33 AM (800x600)

Clay also around the sides.

Photo Apr 12, 8 19 11 AM (600x800)

ValleyCats groundskeeper Eric Westervelt helping to measure the distance from the plate to first base.

Photo Apr 12, 8 19 20 AM (600x800)


Admar Supply Company has graciously donated equipment to be used during these renovations!

None of these renovations would be possible without the support of BlueShield of Northeastern New York. They have been an outstanding partner, and hold the same values as us when it comes to helping out the local youth. With their help, we look forward to a long future of assisting youth baseball/softball leagues throughout the Capital Region.

Although we were only able to select four fields for the ‘4 in 24’, we truly appreciate all of the leagues who sent in applications. In a matter of time, we hope to one day be able to assist each league in the Capital Region. Unfortunately we can’t do it all in one year, so please keep the applications coming.

The Community Grounds Crew Program will accept applications throughout the spring and summer, and we will try as best we can to help as many leagues as possible.

Click here to apply>>

Former ‘Cats assigned to Astros full-season clubs

The Houston Astros have set the minor league rosters for their 2013 full-season clubs who begin their season on Thursday, April 4.  Below is a breakdown of where all of your former ‘Cats will be playing throughout the Astros sytem. (some players will stay in Florida for extended spring training, and those names are not listed).

Triple-A Oklahoma City:

P- Dallas Keuchel (’09)

P- Jordan Lyles (’08)

C- Chris Wallace (’10)

OF- Jake Goebbert (’09)

Double-A Corpus Christi:

P- Jake Buchanan (’10)

P- Jorge De Leon (’09-’10)

P- Bobby Doran (’10)

P- David Martinez (’10)

P- Andrew Robinson (’10)

P- Alex Sogard (’10)

P- Nick Tropeano (’11)

C- Rene Garcia (’09)

C- Ryan McCurdy (’10-’11)

IF- Erik Castro (’09)

IF- Enrique “Kike” Hernandez (’10)

IF- Ben Orloff (’09-’10)

OF- George Springer (’11)

OF- Austin Wates (’10)

Class-A+ Lancaster:

P- Travis Ballew (’12)

P- Jonas Dufek (’11)

P- Carlos Quevedo (’10)

P- Brady Rodgers (’12)

P- Tommy Shirley (’10)

P- Aaron West (’12)

C- M.P. Cokinos (’12)

C- Tyler Heineman (’12)

IF- Matt Duffy (’11)

IF- Zach Johnson (’11)

IF- Rafael Valenzuela (’11)

OF- Andrew Aplin (’12)

OF- Chris Epps (’11)

OF- Brandon Meredith (’11)

OF- Andrew Muren (’11)

OF- Preston Tucker (’12)

Class-A Quad Cities:

P- Joe Bircher (’12)

P- Kyle Hallock (’11)

P- Brian Holmes (’12)

P- Mitchell Lambson (’11)

P- John Neely (’12)

P- Vincent Velasquez (’12)

C- Jobduan Morales (’12)

IF- Chase Davidson (’11-’12)

IF- Ryan Dineen (’11)

IF- Joe Sclafani (’12)

IF- Jesse Wierzbicki (’12)

OF- Jordan Scott (’11)