01/04/2011 6:39 PM ET
Austin Reagan High School to unveil renovated field
Ceremony hosted by MLB Groundskeepers, Baseball Tomorrow Fund; RBI Austin to officially launch
(AUSTIN, TX) (January 4, 2011) -- Major League Baseball Groundskeepers and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will host an unveiling ceremony of the newly renovated Austin Reagan High School baseball field in Austin, TX, on Tuesday, January 11. The school was chosen in May 2010 for the MLB Groundskeepers' annual renovation service project.
The project has been spearheaded over the past six months by Dan Bergstrom, Director of Field Operations for the Houston Astros. A total of 24 MLB Clubs will be represented at the ceremony, and Colorado Rockies pitcher Huston Street will also be in attendance.
Each year, the Major League Baseball Groundskeepers convene for industry meetings, during which the Groundskeepers go into the com¬munity and renovate a baseball field in need of repair. This year, aided by a grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and with donations from three major sponsors (Toro, Turface Athletics and Covermaster Incorporated) and the Astros In Action Foundation, the Groundskee¬pers have overseen the complete renovation of the playing surface and other baseball facility upgrades at Reagan High School.
"The Baseball Tomorrow Fund appreciates the MLB Groundskeepers' work and Austin Reagan's dedication to this project and, more importantly, to the children which it serves," added Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. "We are proud to have supported the growth of youth baseball and softball in this community."
To celebrate the completion of the project, Reagan High School will hold a grand opening ceremony at the baseball field on Tuesday, January 11 at 1 p.m. BTF Executive Director Cathy Bradley and BTF Grant Coordinator Meghan Chisholm will participate in the festivities, along with major sponsors including Toro, Turface Athletics, and Covermaster.
In addition, the ceremony will serve as the official launch of RBI Austin. RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) is an outreach program of Major League Baseball serving youth ages 5-18 in over 200 cities worldwide. This is the first RBI program ever in Austin and the eleventh program currently in Texas. RBI Austin will use Austin Reagan's newly renovated baseball field for clinics and a summer league, reaching youth at Reagan and many surrounding schools in East Austin. The first clinic will be held Sunday, January 30 at 2 p.m.
"We are incredibly grateful for the generous contributions and tireless work put into this project," said Matt Price, Director of RBI Austin. "The renovated field is a huge step forward in our efforts to reinvigorate the love for baseball in this community."
Schedule for January 11, 2011
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.: MLB Groundskeepers will complete finishing touches on the baseball field
1 - 2 p.m.: Ceremony to unveil field, launch RBI Austin
About the Baseball Tomorrow Fund: The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is 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 Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1999, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has awarded over 525 grants totaling more than $19 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Approximately 220,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund receives approximately 500 applications each year and awards grants on a quarterly basis after a selective review process. For more information, visit www.baseballtomorrowfund.com.
About John H. Reagan High School: Opened in East Austin in 1965, John H. Reagan High School is an Austin ISD staple looking to reclaim its spot as Austin's premier athletic program. The Raiders' athletic history is rich: 1967, 1968 and 1970 state football champions, 1973 state football runner-up, 1992 boys state track champions, 2000 girls state track champions, multiple boys and girls track state runners-up finishes, and multiple individual state track champions including Brendan Christian, the 2002 Gatorade HS Athlete of the Year for track and field.
Though the last decade has been a struggle athletically, academically and economically, this decade looks to be off to a good start. The school received an "Acceptable" rating from the Texas Education Agency in 2010, just two years after being threatened with closure. Athletically, the baseball team got back in the win column in 2010 and will field a freshman team in 2011 for the first time in over a decade. For more information, visit www.reaganraiders.org.
About RBI Austin: RBI Austin is youth outreach program of Major League Baseball designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball, encourage academic participation and achievement, increase the number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and minor leagues, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game and teach the value of teamwork. RBI Austin is locally run by Total City Sports and The For the City Network and will use Austin Reagan's newly renovated baseball field as its home field, reaching youth at Reagan and many surrounding schools in East Austin. For more information, visit www.rbiaustin.org.