Cleveland — The Cleveland Indians will play host to the fourth annual Fields for the Future project on Thursday, May 10 at Thurgood Marshall Recreation on Cleveland’s East Side.
In collaboration with the City of Cleveland, the Motz Group and Cleveland Indians Community Partners Minutemen, Pepco/Victory Park Ohio, Electronic Merchant Systems, Car Parts Warehouse and McDonald Hopkins, both baseball fields at this site will be renovated: Johnny Roscoe Field and Fred Drake Field.
In addition to the field renovations, The Shelly Company has donated new concrete slabs for the dugouts and The Davey Tree Expert Company is donating 10 trees, which will be planted throughout the surrounding park with the help of volunteers from Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Davey Tree. The trees being planted are Bur Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Red Oak and Shingle Oak.
Indians catcher Yan Gomes and his wife Jenna, who made a financial donation to support the project, City of Cleveland Director of Public Works Michael Cox, City of Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones, State Representative Stephanie Howse, and staff from U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge’s office will be on hand to unveil renovations at approximately 3:30 p.m., with Gomes catching the first pitch. Local youth will then play a game on the newly renovated field at approximately 4 p.m.
“Our Fields for the Future program is a key piece of our long-term goal to improve the quality of youth baseball in Cleveland,” said Indians Executive Director of Community Impact Rebecca Kodysh. “We work with a number of valued partners on the project, which could not happen without their support.”
This program will serve as a precursor to Play Ball Weekend taking place May 26-27, which was launched by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball as the sport’s largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and informal baseball activities.
The Fields for the Future program began in 2015 at Luke Easter Park on Cleveland’s East Side. In 2016, a field was renovated at Gunning Park and in 2017, a field was renovated at Halloran Park. According to the City of Cleveland, field usage improved tremendously after the renovations, with the number of games played at the field growing four-fold.