Olivet, Scotts, MLB, Celebrate Field Refurbishment of Gordon Hoodak Stadium in Reading

For the past six years, Scotts and Major League Baseball have partnered on the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program, which grants ballfield renovations to four underserved communities and youth organizations each summer.

Earlier this summer, Scotts and MLB announced that the Olivet Boys & Girls Club of won this year’s Scotts Field Refurbishment Program Grant, receiving up to $50,000 for a complete renovation to their outdated and unmanaged baseball field located behind Lauer’s Park Elementary School in Reading.

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To recognize the completion of the project, Scotts, MLB and MLB All-Star Ryan Howard, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday at Gordon Hoodak Stadium, complete with a baseball clinic for the Boys & Girls Club participants, led by Howard.

“I’m absolutely honored to be partnering with Scotts and MLB for another year of the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program” said Ryan Howard. “It is no secret that Reading, Pennsylvania has a special place in my heart, so I can’t wait to see how the new field will positively impact the community. I’m thrilled to watch the new young players take the field to play the game we all love!.”

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View of the new field from the press box

MLB and Scotts received more than 620 grant applications across nearly every state for the 2021 installment of the program. The four winning organizations included Boys & Girls Clubs of Coastal Blend in Corpus Christi, TX, Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay in Green Bay, WI, Olivet Boys & Girls of Reading and Berks County, and SAY Detroit in Detroit, Michigan.

“We are confident that refurbishing these fields will not only encourage kids to get outside and enjoy the games they love, like baseball and softball, but also bring local communities together. This program is an important way we grow more good for our community” said Ashley Bachmann, Vice President, Lawns Marketing, Scotts Miracle-Gro.

Olivet youth participate in baseball clinic led by Ryan Howard.

The winning organizations were chosen by a special blue-ribbon panel which included Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., three-time MLB All-Star Ryan Howard, Olympic Gold Medalist & MLB Youth Softball Ambassador Jennie Finch, and Scotts and MLB executives. Through 2021, the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program will have renovated nearly 30 fields with nearly $2 million of support.

“Our team is proud to partner with Scotts for another successful year of the Field Refurbishment Program,” said Tony Reagins, Chief Baseball Development Officer, MLB. “After a challenging year with limited youth organized sports, it is our hope that these new fields will act as silver linings in these communities, providing the youth, and other community members, a renovated ballfield where they can continue to engage in baseball and softball activities.”

Reading Fightin Phils

MLB and Scotts, a long-time league sponsor, began the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program prior to the 2016 season to provide kids with modern, playable ball fields in communities around the U.S. The Scotts Field Refurbishment Program is part of Scotts’ Gro More Good initiative to improve children’s health and well-being through increased connection to greenspaces.

Scotts is also an official partner of the ‘PLAY BALL’ initiative, the sport’s largest collective effort to encourage young people and communities to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal leagues, events and casual forms of play.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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