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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2008 > Little League Urban Initiative, MLB and Bank of America Unveil Renovations to Castle Hill Little League Field in Bronx

Little League Urban Initiative, MLB and Bank of America Unveil Renovations to Castle Hill Little League Field in Bronx

Little League Urban Initiative, MLB and Bank of America Unveil Renovations to Castle Hill Little League Field in Bronx

CastleHillField "Goose" Gossage

Rich "Goose" Gossage addresses those in attendance at the Castle Hill Little League Field dedication. The Yankee great will enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in July.

The Little League Urban Initiative, Major League Baseball (MLB) and Bank of America recently showcased the renovations made to the Castle Hill Little League in Bronx, N.Y.

“Little League is pleased to complete this field renovation and is proud of the impact it will have on the community which Castle Hill Little League serves in the borough of The Bronx,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Castle Hill Little League is a deserving recipient of this latest project, and we are appreciative of the support shown by Major League Baseball and our corporate partner, Bank of America. The players and adult volunteers are equally responsible, and can share the credit, for creating an outstanding youth sports environment with the Little League program as its cornerstone.”A dedication ceremony was held at Castle Hill Little League Field to unveil the improvements made by Tri State Athletic Field Services of Allendale, N.J., that include a new grass infield and warning track around the perimeter of the field, repairs to the irrigation system, renovation of the dugout area, and installation of new batting helmet shelves, bat racks and a scoreboard, along with Tee Ball Field cutouts.

“I am so thankful that we were chosen for this beautification project,” Henry Pelayo, Castle Hill League President, said. “Without the Little League Urban Initiative, Major League Baseball and Bank of America this field would not have been made over in the next 100 years.”

New York Yankee great Rich “Goose” Gossage, who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., later this month, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Also in attendance at the field dedication were former New York Yankees Mickey Rivers and Roy White.

“Major League Baseball recognizes the importance of ensuring quality playing fields for young baseball players in urban settings around the country,” Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Business, who represented MLB at the ceremony, said. “Bank of America and the Little League Urban Initiative are ideal partners to team with for delivering great new fields for Little Leaguers in The Bronx, and in cities across America.”

Among those accepting invitations to attend the ceremony were: New York State Senator Reuben Diaz; Congressman James Crowley; as well as Charles Greenstein and Maurice Coleman of Bank of America, the official bank of MLB, the New York Yankees and Little League Baseball.

The cost of the renovations and improvements to the Castle Hill Little League field totaled $200,000. A portion of the Little League Urban Initiative’s contribution was made possible by the donation provided by Bank of America and Major League Baseball’s contributions to the Little League Urban Initiative.

CastleHilllField_3_400pxA corporate partner of Little League Baseball and Softball, Bank of America has donated more than $700,000 since 2004 to the Little League Urban Initiative, helping to improve Little League fields nationwide, most recently including projects in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Newark, N.J.

“Little League Baseball, Major League Baseball and Bank of America all share a strong commitment to growing the game of baseball within our local communities,” Mr. Coleman, Northeast Community Development Executive for Bank of America, said. “As the official bank of Little League Baseball, we recognize the impact of the Urban Initiative, and the opportunities it creates for young people to experience baseball in metropolitan neighborhoods all across the country.”

Attending from Little League International were: Patrick Wilson (Vice President of Operations); Lance Van Auken (Senior Communications Executive); and Jud Rogers (Senior Marketing Executive).

During the 2007 Little League Baseball World Series, the Urban Initiative Program received a third $250,000 grant from Major League Baseball as part of its commitment to nurturing the growth of youth baseball and softball in metropolitan neighborhoods throughout the United States. To date, Major League Baseball has contributed more than $750,000 on behalf of the Little League Urban Initiative, and has been involved in field renovation projects in Pittsburgh, Houston and Tampa, Fla.

On Memorial Day weekend 2008, through the support of Major League Baseball, Little League International hosted the fifth annual Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree. Major League Baseball affords 14 Urban Initiative leagues the opportunity to send 10 Major Division Little League Baseball teams and four Junior League Baseball teams to Williamsport, Pa., site of the annual Little League Baseball World Series, to experience the thrill of a weekend of friendly games, instruction and education.

Through the 2008 Little League season, the Little League Urban Initiative has stimulated the participation of 2,779 teams, which equates to approximately 43,000 players, and has participated in 21 field renovation/development projects.

“Everyone has really worked hard, and we’re so happy that the field has been finished in time for us to host the Little League Baseball sectional tournament this year,” Mr. Pelayo, who has volunteered in the league for 32 years and has served as league president for the last 10 years, said. “The volunteers were astonished and surprised, and the kids were so happy and excited when we were selected to have the field renovated, because they are the ones that keep the park going.”

Castle Hill Little League, located two miles from Yankee Stadium, provides divisions of Little League Baseball and Softball for more than 500 players, ages 5-15 and is part of New York District 22. Chris Amarosa is Little League’s volunteer District Administrator for New York District 22.

Information on Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI), presented by KPMG Program, can be found by logging on to: www.mlb.com; and information on the Bank of America "Keep the Change" program can be located at: www.bankofamerica.com.

Castle Hill Field Dedication 1

Castle Hill Little League in Bronx, N.Y. had its renovated field dedicated recently during a ceremony attended by former New York Yankees Mickey Rivers (far left), Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage (third from left) and Roy White (second from right). Among those representing Major League Baseball were: Tim Brosnan (second from left, Executive Vice President of Business) and David James (far right, Director of RBI program). Representing Bank of America was Maurice Coleman (second from right). Representing Little League Baseball and Softball were: Patrick W. Wilson (third from left, Vice President of Operations); Jud Rogers (Senior Marketing Executive, not pictured); and Lance Van Auken (Senior Communications Executive, not pictured).

Castle Hill Field Dedication 2