Category Archives: Community & Giving
Several athletic facilities, including the baseballs stadium, at Louisiana Tech sustained major damage when a tornado ripped across the university’s campus early Thursday morning. Read more and view photo here.
Our student-athletes and student body are safe, which is our main concern.
We are still in shock over the devastation to our city and our campus.
Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers. We are still assessing the damage our facilities, but we CAN and WILL rebuild. pic.twitter.com/PMzwXqe7dk
— LA Tech Sports (@LATechSports) April 25, 2019
Chico State Athletics will be holding a celebration of the life of Steve Nettleton on Saturday at the stadium bearing his name, Nettleton Stadium. His lifelong interest in baseball and dream of owning a baseball team came to fruition when Nettleton and his partners brought the Chico Heat (Independent Professional, Western Baseball League) to town in 1997. Nettleton passed away in January. Read more here. Read more about the Heat here.
Inspired by the Iowa Wave during football games at the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium, the Birmingham Barons (Double-A, Southern League) have started a similar tradition for their home games. The Children’s of Alabama Hospital overlooks Regions Field, the home stadium for the Barons. So, during the seventh inning stretch, players and fans wave at center field in the direction of the hospital. Read more here and here.
Instead of a 7th inning stretch, the @BhamBarons are doing a "7th inning wave" where fans wave to patients of at the Children's Hospital of Alabama that's located in right field.https://t.co/Yt32txiFFM
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 12, 2019
Detroit rocker Jack White has lent his efforts toward helping restore Hamtramck Stadium, a Detroit-area ballpark that served as home for the Negro League’s Detroit Stars. Read more here. Watch news report here.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) March 4, 2019
The plaza in front of the new minor league baseball stadium will be named for late Fayetteville (NC) Mayor Bill Hurley, who was an avid baseball fan and is credited with a downtown cleanup that led to the new stadium. Read more here.
The University of Arkansas board of trustees will vote this week on whether to modify the name of the Razorbacks’ baseball stadium from Baum Stadium to Baum-Walker Stadium. The request comes after the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation pledged a $5 million lead gift toward the construction of a $25-million, 40,000-square-foot operations center on the stadium grounds. Read more here.
The Houston Astros and Houston-based Karbach Brewing Co. have joined forces to bring fans a brand new beer and give back to the Houston community right in time for spring season. Read more here.
The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A, International League) Charities has donated $173,000 to the Levine Children’s Hospital. The money will be used to transform the fourth-floor therapy room and add a baseball theme to it. Read more here.
Minor League Baseball Unveils Finalists in its Copa de la Diversión Season-Long Event Series Competition
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today unveiled the finalists of its inaugural Copa de la Diversión™ (Fun Cup™) event series that took place during the 2018 season. The winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 10, at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas during the Opening Session.
The cornerstone of MiLB’s Es Divertido Ser Un Fan® (It’s Fun to be A Fan®) Hispanic/Latinx fan engagement initiative, Copa de la Diversión (“Copa”) established an innovative new platform authentically connecting MiLB teams with their diverse communities, embracing the culture and values that resonate most with Hispanics/Latinx nationwide. Thirty-three teams adopted culturally-relevant on-field personas and integrated more local flavor into their gameday experiences for designated games.
The five Copa finalists are: Mariachis de Nuevo México (Albuquerque Isotopes), Monarcas de Eugene (Eugene Emeralds), Cucuys de San Bernardino (Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino), Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City Dodgers) and the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio (San Antonio Missions).
“Copa generated the positive buzz and subsequent following because of the passion, creativity and hard work all of the participating teams and their community partners poured into the campaign,” said Kurt Hunzeker, Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Research for Minor League Baseball. “The five finalists and their respective communities should celebrate this honor and achievement as their vision, inclusion and leadership have established the perfect playbook for other sports properties wanting to authentically connect with their local Latinx communities.”
The five finalists represent every classification of Minor League Baseball, reinforcing the success and relevancy of the event series throughout MiLB and its communities. The contending teams were selected by Minor League Baseball’s newly-formed Latinx Advisory Committee comprised of leaders in multicultural academia, media and marketing. The committee ranked the teams on how well they achieved the primary objectives of the Copa event series including increasing awareness, authentic engagements and attendance with U.S. Hispanics/Latinx in their local community; embracing this community and culture that is passionate about baseball, family and fun by updating their ballpark experience to match the values this specific fan segment cherishes most; creating and embracing culturally-relevant on-field personas that authentically connect them with their local U.S. Hispanic/Latinx community; and amplifying MiLB’s continuous effort to diversify the game and business of baseball nationwide.
Notable accomplishments of the finalists included:
• The Albuquerque Isotopes (Mariachis de Nuevo México) setting a single-game attendance record (16,975) for their first-ever Mariachis’ game on May 5 and leading all Copa-participating teams in most attendees gained per game, averaging 5,000 more fans each Copa game compared to similar dates in 2017.
• The Eugene Emeralds (Monarcas de Eugene) leading all Copa-participating teams in community impact metrics by engaging 16 local civic groups, community organizations and corporate offices, investing significant time and resources to authentically connect with Eugene and surrounding areas’ Hispanic/Latinx communities.
• The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino (Cucuys de San Bernardino) achieving their season-long attendance increase goal during their first Cucuys’ game, as 6,887 fans packed San Manuel Stadium on Thursday, May 3, an increase of 272 percent compared to similar game date in 2017.
• The Oklahoma City Dodgers (Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City) establishing deep connections with local area businesses searching for programming to reach OKC’s Hispanic/Latinx community, resulting in the second-largest commercial partnership revenue among all Copa-participating teams.
• The San Antonio Missions (Flying Chanclas de San Antonio) generating the most team-controlled retail sales for its Flying Chanclas’ licensed products with more than $700,000 in retail sales (in-ballpark and via the team’s online store).
In September, Minor League Baseball announced it is expanding Copa de la Diversión for the 2019 season, more than doubling the number of participating teams to 72. The new Copa identities will be unveiled in March 2019.
At the corner of Michigan and Trumbull avenues in Detroit (MI), a ballpark was built there in 1895 and was the site of professional baseball for more than 100 years. The Detroit Tigers made it their home in 1912, and it stayed that way until Sept. 27, 1999, when the last game was played at Tiger Stadium. Barely five miles away in the near north suburb of Hamtramck, the former home of the Negro League Detroit Stars has sat neglected and forgotten for at least two decades. Read more and view photos here.
The renovation of Hamtramck Stadium that was home to Negro Leagues professional baseball teams in the 1930s has its first corporate sponsor. Comerica Bank and Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium announced the $20,000 contribution Friday at the Negro Leagues Legacy luncheon at Comerica Park. Read more here.
The annual Congressional Baseball Game for charity will take place on June 14 at 7:05pm at National Park, home of the Washington Nationals. Learn more here and here. Visit Facebook page here. Visit Twitter page here. U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot during a practice for the game last year, plans to take the field. Read more here.
As the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians prepare for a two-game series tonight (4/17) and tomorrow (4/18) at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico, Joe Mock of BaseballParks.com provides us with a telling glimpse into the ballpark preparations in the seven-month aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria that ripped through the island this past September. Read more here.
The crack of the bat at Durham Bulls’ (Triple-A, International League) ballpark is a welcome sign of spring, but the start of baseball season is also the start of the growing season for fruits and vegetables. The Bulls’ new Victory Garden combines the two forces for a dual-pronged purpose. Read more here. For the fan looking for hearty and crazy ballpark eats, the Bulls have that too. Read more and view photos here.
The Yawkey Foundation issued a statement Wednesday following an announcement from the Boston Red Sox that the club had filed a formal petition to restore Yawkey Way to its original name, Jersey Street. Read more and view full statement here.
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio Working to Reverse Trend of Declining Black Participation in Baseball
The league that integrated professional sports is now bleeding black players and black fans. A project on the East Side of San Antonio (TX), partially funded by Major League Baseball, hopes to fight the trend locally. Read more here.
PRESS RELEASE – The Oklahoma City Dodgers and Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation have joined forces to create the OKC Dodgers Rookie League in order to help bolster youth baseball participation in the community as well as foster an environment that emphasizes leadership, teamwork and sportsmanship, the organizations announced today.
PRESS RELEASE – There’s been some Trickery in Hickory this morning! There’s never a bad time to tell a joke. In a press conference this morning, the Hickory Crawdads announced that they were permanently rebranding to the Hickory Crawmoms.
On the morning of Jan 23, 2018, it was discovered that the Field of Dreams Movie Site ball diamond in Dyersville (IA) was destroyed by truck tire damage. Many areas of the turf had been ripped up with potential damage to the refurbished irrigation system. The GoFundMe site that was launched to help fund repairs has already raised $18,176. Read more here.
PRESS RELEASE – It is with great sadness that the Trenton Thunder announces that Team Bat Dog Derby passed away on Saturday January 6, 2018; just 20 days shy of his tenth birthday after a battle with cancer. Continue reading
The City of Binghamton (NY) has received a $195,159 donation from the estate of Marion O’Connor for improvements at NYSEG Stadium, home of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Double-A, Eastern League). O’Connor was a longtime fan who regularly attended baseball games at the ballpark with her brother, William O’Connor. The donation was made in his honor. Read more here.
We would like to wish you and your family a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. – Ballpark Business
PRESS RELEASE – Richard Tylicki, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and the Director of Stadium Operations for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, is the recipient of Minor League Baseball’s second annual Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award. Tylicki will be honored at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, December 10 at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball today named the Lexington Legends the recipient of the fifth annual John Henry Moss Community Service Award. The award was created in 2013 by Minor League Baseball in honor of the late John Henry Moss, who founded what would become the South Atlantic League in 1959 and headed the circuit until 2007. The Legends will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. Continue reading
The annual ” Grand Rapids Memorial Stair Climb” was held on Saturday at Fifth Third Ball Park, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps (Single-A, Midwest League). It is done as a way to honor and remember those firefighters, police officers, and medical personnel who died on 9/11. Read more and view photo here.
PRESS RELEASE – Joe Klein, who presided over baseball operations as Executive Director of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball since its inception in 1998 and saw the league send more than 800 players to MLB organizations as the circuit became the premier independent professional baseball organization, died at Temple University Hospital from heart surgery complications on Wednesday morning at the age of 75, the league announced this morning. Continue reading
MLB has dubbed Aug. 25-27 as Players Weekend, and this unprecedented event will feature a special kind of flair. Players will wear their nicknames on the back of colorful, alternate jerseys, and they are encouraged to wear (or use) customized spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher’s masks and bats. Read more from MLB.com here and Maury Brown here. See team examples here and here.
PRESS RELEASE – today launched Es Divertido Ser Un Fan, a new multicultural fan engagement platform aimed at specifically connecting with Hispanic/Latino baseball fans in 160 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. The program will debut this August in select MiLB markets, including Las Vegas, Charlotte, North Carolina; Kane County, Illinois; and Visalia, California, with a national expansion planned for 2018. Continue reading
The New Britain Bees (Independent Professional, Atlantic League) baseball team has launched a major initiative to make the stadium and the game easier for disabled fans to manage. Read more here. Thanks to John Cerone for the link.
Lawmakers went forward and played the annual Congressional Baseball Game Thursday night at Nationals Stadium after a gunman opened fire on congressional Republicans practicing in Northern Virginia early Wednesday morning. Read more and watch game here. Talking less acrimony here. Watch disturbing video of shooting here.
An estimated 500 youths participated in Major League Baseball’s “Play Ball” event at Smith’s Ballpark on Saturday, which also served as an announcement by the Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) that they will expand their youth baseball initiatives. Read more here.
Connecticut native Thomas Hastings was born with scoliosis and later diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. When asked, he had one wish — to have a baseball field in his backyard. In less than 40 days, the Boston Red Sox and the Make-A-Wish Foundation built Thomas his very own Fenway Park, with some help from Boston groundskeeper Dave Mellor and 100 volunteers. Read more and view photo here.
PRESS RELEASE – The Visalia Rawhide announced today the addition of two new faces to the club’s front office staff. Vinnie Longo will join the Rawhide as the team’s new voice, as he assumes the duties of Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations. Audrea Avalos will also join the staff as Community Relations Manager and will oversee the Rawhide’s community outreach programs. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE – As part of the organization’s continued commitment to giving back to the community, the Lynchburg Hillcats proudly announced a new partnership for 2017 with the Lynchburg Humane Society Wednesday morning. Continue reading