OCI Receives Grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CLEVELAND, OH– Ohio City Incorporated announced today that it was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $29,195 from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF).  The grant will support the expansion of the Near West Recreation League’s youth coed baseball program and provide funding for equipment and uniforms for the 550 players expected to participate in the 2014 season. 

The Near West Recreation League is a collaboration between Ohio City Incorporated, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Corporation, and Tremont West Development Corporation that began in January 2013. The intention of this collaboration was to expand the baseball league to three near west side neighborhoods. This collaboration also saw the launch of a bowling league, coach pitch baseball, soccer league, and a LEGO League.

After two successful summers, a second expansion in August 2013 welcomed Stockyard, Clark-Fulton, and Brooklyn Centre Community Development Organization—which will bring youth baseball and other additional recreation programming to a total of six near west neighborhoods. Funds from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will provide uniforms and equipment required to bring the baseball league to scale. This includes the free glove program, which provides a glove free of cost to any player who cannot afford to purchase one of their own.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be partnered with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund in 2014. Their support allows our league to expand to provide programming to over 500 youth this summer,” said Eric Wobser, Executive Director for Ohio City Incorporated. “The near west side will benefit from their investment for years to come.”

“The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is excited to support Ohio City Incorporated in bringing baseball to hundreds of Cleveland youth,” said Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.  “We are confident that the equipment and uniforms will allow an existing program to flourish and will introduce the game of baseball to the next generation of players and fans.” 

Other major supporters of the project include Ohio Savings Bank, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, The Dominion Foundation, The Thomas C. and Sandra S. Sullivan Foundation, and dozens of local businesses on Cleveland’s near west side.  Ohio City Incorporated is still accepting in-kind and monetary contributions to support the operations of the league. Those interested in donating to the project may contact Rosemary Mudry, Near West Recreation Coordinator at (216) 781-3222 x 108 or rmudry@ohiocity.org.

About the Baseball Tomorrow Fund
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a joint initiative between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball 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 the MLBPA and MLB in 1999, BTF has awarded approximately 770 grants totaling more than $26 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. More than 330,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund. BTF also facilitates league-wide initiatives including the collection and distribution of new and gently used equipment to organizations in need as well as field maintenance education clinics.  For more information, visit baseballtomorrowfund.com and follow BTF on Facebook, Twitter and MLBlogs.

About Ohio City Incorporated
Ohio City Incorporated is the Community Development Corporation for the Ohio City neighborhood. The organization leads the development of Ohio City by serving a diverse community of committed people, driving new investments in and preserving the history of a unique place, and promoting an authentic urban neighborhood. For more information, visit ohiocity.org.