Royals, Baseball Tomorrow Fund & Rawlings to host equipment collection

KANSAS CITY, MO (May 2, 2012) – In support of the ongoing commitment from Major League Baseball, its Clubs and the players to increase opportunities for youth participation in baseball and softball, the Royals are teaming up with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) and Rawlings to host an equipment collection drive during the first two games of the Yankees-Royals series at Kauffman Stadium.  On Thursday, May 3 and Friday, May 4, fans are invited to donate new and used equipment, which will benefit the Alta Vista Charter School Baseball Program.

In conjunction with the equipment drive, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will award a grant of $5,000 to Alta Vista Charter School for the purchase of new equipment.  The grant will be given in the names of second baseman Chris Getz and pitcher Greg Holland in honor of their commitment to youth baseball and softball.  In recognition of the grant, Alta Vista will have the honor of representing recipients from across the country during a ceremonial check presentation prior to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, part of Taco Bell All-Star Sunday at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday, July 8.

Royals Wives will be outside of the Diamond Club and Majestic Team Store on the Field/Plaza Level to collect new and gently-used equipment from 5:30-7:30 p.m. each evening.  Cash donations will also be accepted.  Fans making a $40 contribution will receive a baseball autographed by their Royals player of choice (while supplies last), while fans making a $10 donation will receive a photo card autographed by their Royals player of choice (also while supplies last).  For more information, visit www.royals.community.

This year marks the eighth season the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has teamed with Major League Baseball Clubs to supplement their existing equipment collection programs and to help facilitate the creation of new programs. 

Last year, over 15,000 pieces of equipment and over $300,000 in monetary contributions were donated to youth baseball and softball organizations in Major League markets in conjunction with the Equipment Day initiative.  To date, nearly 100,000 pieces of equipment and approximately $1,250,000 in cash donations has benefited organizations in need.

“As we celebrate the eighth season of the initiative, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund would like to thank all of the Clubs, players and fans that have contributed to its success” said Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.  “Every single contribution has helped grow baseball and softball in communities, and we look forward to greater success in 2012 and beyond.”

Alta Vista Charter School, located in Kansas City, Mo., serves a number of students of Mexican heritage.  Despite the popularity of soccer in Mexico, many of the school’s students hoped for a chance to begin a baseball program.  With the support of the administration and staff, Alta Vista was able to purchase basic baseball equipment to help get the program running.  In the spring of 2010, Alta Vista fielded a baseball team for the first time in school history and hopes to expand the program moving forward.

For additional information, members of the media may contact the Royals Publicity Department at (816) 921-8000 or Meghan Chisholm with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund at (212) 931-7786.

About the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF)

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a joint initiative between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses. Since its formation by MLB and the MLBPA in 1999, BTF has awarded more than 600 grants totaling more than $22 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. Approximately 300,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund. BTF also facilitates league-wide initiatives including the collection and distribution of new and gently used equipment to organizations in need as well as field maintenance education clinics.  For more information, visit baseballtomorrowfund.com and follow BTF on Facebook, Twitter and MLBlogs.