HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros are teaming up with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) and Academy Sports + Outdoors to host an equipment collection drive during the Astros-Rangers game on Sunday, May 20. Academy Sports + Outdoors has already donated more than 200 gloves. Fans are invited to make their contributions to benefit the Houston Park and Recreation Department’s (HPARD) free youth baseball and softball programs. Fans are encouraged to bring new and used equipment, which will be accepted at Minute Maid Park entrance gates.
BTF will award a $5,000 grant to HPARD in conjunction with the equipment drive. The grant will be given in the name of Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez for his commitment to youth baseball and softball. Prior to the game, Martinez and Meghan Chisholm, BTF senior grant coordinator will present a ceremonial check to HPARD during an on-field ceremony.
This year marks the eighth season the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has worked with MLB Clubs to collect equipment and to facilitate the creation of new programs. Last year, more than 15,000 pieces of equipment and over $300,000 were donated to youth baseball and softball organizations in Major League markets. 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 helped grow baseball and softball in our communities and we look forward to greater success in 2012 and beyond.”
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association 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. For more information, visit baseballtomorrowfund.com and follow BTF on Facebook, Twitter and MLBlogs.