Jan 25, 2017

Mayor Walsh, Boston Red Sox Announce Four Batting Cages to be Installed Throughout Boston

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Red Sox Foundation today announced that four indoor batting cages will be installed in 2017 at Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers throughout the City of Boston. The batting cage installations are made possible by a grant from the Youth Development Foundation, an organization set up in 2015 by Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to improve the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.

“Baseball isn’t just a sport – it’s a passion for so many Boston residents and children, and this grant will allow young people throughout our City to improve their baseball game in a welcoming, accessible environment,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m grateful to our Red Sox Foundation partners for providing BCYF centers with batting cages that will allow our young athletes to enjoy baseball throughout every month of the year.”

“Major League Baseball is pleased to contribute to a project that will allow young people throughout Boston to hone their skills and enjoy our sport year-round,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “This particular effort serves as a great illustration of the impact that the joint Youth Development Foundation is making on worthy initiatives in Major League markets. MLB also commends the Red Sox franchise on its exceptional commitment to the communities of Boston.”

“On behalf of all Players, and especially those who call the Boston area home, we are happy to direct funds from the Youth Development Foundation to help install indoor batting cages throughout the city,” stated MLBPA Executive Director, Tony Clark.  “One of the main goals of the Foundation is to improve access to the sport of baseball for inner-city youth, and we believe this project will help cultivate greater levels of interest and participation in our great game among Boston youth.”

“Growing the game of baseball and connecting with younger fans is a point of focus for the Red Sox, the league, and the Players Association,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. “We thank Commissioner Manfred and MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark for this generous grant that addresses a need in a number of youth and family centers in Boston. This grassroots effort will help countless young children improve their game, and we are grateful for the support from the Youth Development Foundation in our community.”

Over the next few months, the Red Sox Foundation will install four batting cages in BCYF community centers in Boston. The first batting cage was formally unveiled today at BCYF Tobin Community Center in Mission Hill. Three more batting cages will be installed in 2017 at BCYF Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain, BCYF Shelburne Community Center in Roxbury, and BCYF Nazzaro Community Center in the North End.

About the Red Sox Foundation

The official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox Foundation has distributed over $93 million to support programs serving children and families across New England. The Foundation’s efforts are primarily focused on its cornerstone programs: the Red Sox Scholars Program, which provides tutoring, mentoring, enrichment programs and a college scholarship to academically talented but economically disadvantaged Boston public school students; the Red Sox Foundation’s RBI and Rookie League youth baseball and softball programs serving more than 1,500 inner city teens each summer; the New England Red Sox Service Scholarship program providing scholarships to high school seniors in CT, VT, ME, RI and NH based upon community service; the Massachusetts Little League Initiative supporting up to 200 little league teams in the Commonwealth, the Home Base Program, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital partnership  providing clinical care for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat stress and traumatic brain injury; The Dimock Center in Roxbury, serving more than 60,000 low-income families in Boston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods; and The Jimmy Fund, supporting breakthrough cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

About the Youth Development Foundation

In July 2015, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball announced a commitment of $30 million toward a new joint initiative that will focus on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada, titled the Youth Development Foundation (YDF).  The YDF funds are designated for a comprehensive list of potential efforts that focus on, but are not limited to: training and recognition programs for coaches; matching grants for youth baseball academies; outreach and matching programs for Major Leaguers and former Major Leaguers who desire to work with youth baseball programs in their communities; and defraying the expense to play in elite-level programs and showcases. The YDF was designed to supplement similar efforts that are already underway to grow the game internationally, outside of the United States and Canada.

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