Marlins, BTF to host equipment collection

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 Miami Marlins are teaming up with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) to host an equipment collection drive during the Phillies vs. Marlins game at Marlins Park tomorrow, June 30.  Fans are invited to donate new and used equipment, which will benefit the Marlins RBI League as well as children in the Dominican Republic.  The first 200 donors will receive a player card signed by either Emilio Bonifacio or Gaby Sanchez.  Collection bins will be outside the 1st Base, 3rd Base and Home Plate Gates leading up to first pitch.

In conjunction with the equipment drive, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will award grants of $2,500 to the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department as well as the Miami Dade County Parks and Recreation Department for the purchase of new equipment for their Marlins Jr. RBI leagues.  The grant will be given in the names of Emilio Bonifacio or Gaby Sanchez in honor of their commitment to youth baseball and softball here in Miami and in the DR.  In recognition of the grants, BTF Executive Director Cathy Bradley, Bonifacio and Sanchez will present a ceremonial check to the City of Miami and Miami Dade County Parks and Recreation Departments during a pre-game ceremony on Friday, June 29.

This year marks the eight 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” says 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 (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 over 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.