Saturday, August 23, 2014

Youth baseball and softball heaven now open in Cincinnati


Baseball and softball enthusiasts living in Reds Country won't have to travel far to experience heaven. This is because a sparkling new facility was recently unveiled to serve the Cincinnati area. The following is a press release from the Reds which further details the magnificent facility.

CINCINNATI - Major League Baseball and the Cincinnati Reds have officially opened the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy, a state-of-the-art baseball and softball training facility that will provide free, year-round instruction and educational and vocational programs to Greater Cincinnati youth ages seven to 18. The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy, which is located at Roselawn Park in Cincinnati, is also supported by Procter & Gamble, the City of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, and Reds owners and players.

"The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is a significant commitment to the young people of Greater Cincinnati and a terrific addition to the storied legacy of the Cincinnati Reds," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, who attended today's opening. "It will serve as an invaluable resource for these children as they discover the opportunities available to them in baseball and beyond. It has been a privilege for Major League Baseball to work alongside the Reds and all local supporters, and we sincerely thank them for their dedication to this project."

"This is a proud day for the Reds, the City of Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble, and all the generous donors who have poured their time, talents and treasures into building this magnificent complex," said Bob Castellini, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Reds. "The Home of the Reds has officially expanded to include this state of the art facility, which will help develop our home grown baseball talent while serving the community in which it operates."

"Some of the fondest memories of my career were spent in Cincinnati with the Reds, and I am honored to have been a part of bringing an MLB Urban Youth Academy to this wonderful city," said MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Development Frank Robinson. "This will be a special place for these young people, and we all look forward to the outstanding talent that will be developed at the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy."

The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is the fourth Academy in operation, and the first in the Midwest, joining facilities in Compton (California), Houston (Texas) and New Orleans (Louisiana). Additional sites in Hialeah (Florida) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) are in development. The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is modeled after the facilities in Compton, Houston and New Orleans, featuring four renovated fields and a 33,000 square foot building that includes batting cages, pitching tunnels and full indoor field. Similar to all MLB Urban Youth Academies, the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy also will offer educational and baseball vocation programming including tutoring as well as clinics and free seminars on umpiring, athletic field management, scouting and player development, sports and broadcast journalism, public relations and statistics, athletic sports training, and more. The Academy's goal will be to graduate 100 percent of the youth it serves. "Community Days," scouting events and other free programs are additional activities that will take place annually at the Academy.

Having opened its first facility in Compton in 2006, the network of MLB Urban Youth Academies has reached more than 10,000 young people. More than 400 Academy student-athletes have gone on to participate in collegiate baseball and softball programs, and more than 100 Academy student-athletes have been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Three Compton Academy graduates have been selected in the first round (Aaron Hicks, the 14th overall pick in the first round of 2008 by the Minnesota Twins; Dominic Smith, the 11th overall pick in the first round of 2013 by the New York Mets; and J.P. Crawford, the 13th overall pick in the first round of 2013 by the Philadelphia Phillies). Five Academy graduates, all from the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, have appeared on Major League rosters during the 2014 Championship Season (Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers;Anthony Gose, Toronto Blue Jays; Aaron Hicks, Minnesota Twins; Efren Navarro, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Jon Singleton, Houston Astros).

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