Chevrolet funds Detroit baseball field cleanupPost a Comment
By JOSEPH SZCZESNY
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Chevrolet is taking its connection to baseball by rebuilding baseball diamonds in local parks around the country, among them a old but active field in northeast Detroit.
Chris Perry, vice president of global Chevrolet marketing, said the Chevrolet’s Diamonds and Dreams has been an enormous success over the past two years reinforcing the brand's link to the nation’s traditional national pastime.
“What could be more American than baseball and Chevrolet?” he said.
While Perry declined to say how much Chevrolet has spent on the effort, he noted hundreds of Chevrolet dealers have joined the effort and rehabilitated baseball and softball diamonds all across the United States.
In addition, since 2006, participating dealers in the Chevrolet Youth Baseball program have helped raise more than $13 million for equipment and other team needs; sponsored more than 500 youth clinics; reached more than 3 million young people and helped raise money to fund more than 2,000 park improvements. This year, more than 1,600 Chevrolet dealers are involved.
In Detroit, Chevrolet employees and volunteers pitched in to help renovate a diamond at the Jayne Field youth baseball complex on Detroit’s east side. As in other renovations of inner-city diamonds sponsored by Chevrolet since 2010, the work was supervised by a crew from a firm established by former major league star Cal Ripken, specifically to help rebuild neglected baseball diamonds in parks around the country.
Perry noted Chevrolet’s baseball roots run deep. In addition to being the Official Vehicle of Major League Baseball, Chevrolet supports youth baseball initiatives across the country through the Chevrolet Youth Baseball and Diamonds and Dreams programs.
The Detroit project at Jayne field coordinated in partnership with Think Detroit PAL, which operates the largest youth baseball program in the city as well as the Detroit Recreation Department and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
Volunteers cleaned, pulled weeds and painted the dugout and bleacher areas at Field No. 4 in preparation for a professional field makeover by Ripken Design and Scotts Miracle-Gro. The field will be refurbished in time to kick off the 2012 youth baseball season.
“As a major supporter of youth baseball across the country, Chevrolet is looking forward to giving young baseball players in our hometown of Detroit a field they can be proud to play on,” Perry said.
Think Detroit PAL uses the Jayne Field complex under an agreement with the City of Detroit, which owns the park. Last year, 1,400 young people played on about 100 teams in PAL baseball leagues.
“We are excited about working with Chevrolet and the City of Detroit to enhance a great baseball park where our kids can learn the positive lessons that come from being part of a sports team,” said Tim Richey, Think Detroit PAL chief executive officer.