The Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded two grants totaling $83,000 to two Bayonne, New Jersey youth baseball and softball organizations for equipment expenses and the repair of damaged fields caused by Superstorm Sandy. To further aid the rebuilding process, the MLB Groundskeepers also contributed $8,000 to the Bayonne Little League.
In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy flooded Bayonne Little League’s complex, causing substantial damage to all four fields, the concession stands, batting cages and storage units, resulting in the loss of all equipment, uniforms and infield material. In order to assist with the League’s recovery, BTF awarded the League $75,000 to repair the damaged fields and replace the lost equipment, uniforms and materials. This grant is in addition to an $8,000 grant awarded to the City of Bayonne to be used for the installation of a batting cage and equipment expenses designed to accommodate the city’s growing youth baseball and softball programs. The two grants will allow more than 1,300 boys and girls, ages 5 - 16, the opportunity to participate in baseball and softball in the community.
“The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is pleased to provide grant awards to the City of Bayonne and to Bayonne Little League,” said Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. “Superstorm Sandy had such a devastating effect on this city so we are happy to have an opportunity to contribute to the recovery effort by helping to preserve and restore its youth baseball and softball programs.”
In conjunction with their annual conference held this January in New York City, the Major League Baseball Groundskeepers organized an auction through MLB.com with proceeds going to an organization selected by the Groundskeepers. Through the auction, more than $8,000 was raised for Bayonne Little League.
“As groundskeepers, we understand the immense amount of work that the Bayonne community faced in rebuilding their fields after Superstorm Sandy,” said Nicole McFadyen, Head Groundskeeper of the Baltimore Orioles. “It is our honor and privilege to donate more than $8,000 to the Bayonne Little League to aid them in replacing tools and field maintenance equipment lost to the storm. The MLB Groundskeeper community hopes this small gesture will provide the youth players of this community something to look forward to on their opening day.”
To celebrate the completion of the renovations and repairs, the Bayonne Little League will host a parade and formal ceremony on Saturday, April 6th at 12:00 p.m. Mayor of the City of Bayonne Mark Smith, New Jersey State Assemblyman Jason O'Donnell, City Councilmen Joe Hurley, Ray Greaves, Debby Czerwienski , and Terry Ruane, and Baseball Tomorrow Fund Executive Director, Cathy Bradley, will be on hand to take part in the festivities.
“The Board of Directors, coaches, volunteers and especially the children of Bayonne Little League are grateful that MLB BTF is able to support our organization, enabling us to have a place to play our 63rd season in Bayonne,” said Mike Conway, Treasurer of Bayonne Little League. In 2005, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded the Bayonne Little League a $50,000 grant for the installation of Musco Lighting Equipment and a backstop on its Major League field, bringing the total amount contributed to the Bayonne community to more than $133,000 in the last eight years.