First Colony Little League in Texas Receiving Grant to Renovate Field for Challenger Division
First Colony Little League (FCLL) in Sugar Land, Texas, was recently recognized as the recipient of the 2009 Grand Slam for Youth Baseball (GSFYB) annual ballpark refurbishment program grant.
Grand Slam for Youth Baseball, a partnership between Minute Maid and the Houston Astros, is committed to renovating one youth baseball or softball field every year over the next two decades. This year, the organization chose the First Colony Little League’s Challenger Division facility.
Through this program, Field 1 at the FCLL baseball complex in Sugar Land, will be updated and reconfigured in order to make it more accessible to the league’s special needs players. These renovations will not only benefit Challenger Division players, but all of the players in First Colony Little League.
“Traditionally, we have chosen more disadvantaged fields that are typically in much worse shape,” Mike Saint John, Senior Vice President of Coca-Cola North America and General Manager of the Minute Maid Business Unit, said.
“However, this year we decided to reconfigure, not refurbish, so these children could have the opportunity to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in a safe and easily-accessible environment,” Mr. Saint John said. “Since we will be relocating our Minute Maid Headquarters to Sugar Land Town Square in February, this project will be an excellent launch for our community efforts in Fort Bend County.”
The grant to the FCLL Challenger Division will go toward refurbishing a field that will meet the special needs players in the league, including larger dugouts to accommodate players and their volunteer “buddies,” a new scoreboard, wheelchair access throughout, and wheelchair-accessible seating.
“We are excited that Minute Maid and the Astros chose our Challenger Division as the recipient for this year’s GSFYB program,” Steve Schoppa, board member and co-founder of the FCLL Challenger Division, said. “Making the field more accessible and safer for these players will only enhance their baseball experience. These improvements will not only promote our league’s growth, but also will establish our field as a destination for other Challenger Division teams throughout the greater Houston area.”
The First Colony Little League complex is located in Sugar Land’s First Colony Park, at 3232 Austin Parkway.
“We appreciate this opportunity to partner with Minute Maid and the Astros on improvements to this field, which will enable us to better serve all the youth of the Sugar Land population,” Jim Browne, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sugar Land, said.
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the First Colony Little League Challenger Division field on Oct. 18 highlighted an open house. Special guests who attend the event include Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson, Mr. Saint John, and former Astro player Jimmy “The Toy Cannon” Wynn.