The Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program will once again award modern, playable youth baseball and softball field refurbishments to four communities of need within the United States, The Scotts Company LLC (Scotts) and Major League Baseball announced.
In total, more than $200,000 in repairs and upgrades will be made by the end of the year and facilities will open to the public at the recommendation of local health officials.
The organizations receiving grants in 2020 include Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana (Gary,
Ind.), City of Memphis Parks and Neighborhoods (Memphis, Tenn.), Ferguson Parks & Recreation (Ferguson, Mo.) and the Oakland Athletics Community Fund (Oakland, Calif.).
We’d like to congratulate this year’s grant recipients for being selected for a field refurbishment for their local communities,” said Josh Peoples, SVP, Chief Brand Officer, Scotts Miracle-Gro. “This year we received a record number of applications and the selection process was difficult, to say the least. Preserving greenspaces in our local communities is at the core of our Gro More Good initiative and our hope is that by refurbishing these fields, children will be able to live a healthier and more active lifestyle for years to come.
MLB and Scotts received nearly 500 grant applications across more than 400 cities in 48 states and Washington, D.C. for the 2020 installment of the Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program. The winning organizations were chosen by a special blue-ribbon panel which included three-time MLB All-Star & 2008 World Series Champion Ryan Howard, Olympic Gold Medalist & MLB Youth Softball Ambassador Jennie Finch, 1997 World Series Champion & MLB Network analyst Cliff Floyd, and additional executive leadership from MLB and Scotts.
We interviewed Howard, the two-time NL Home Run King, 2006 NL MVP and 2008 World Series champion about his latest field refurbishment project with Scotts, his fabulous MLB career, the unprecedented 2020 MLB season and a Tampa Rays franchise that last made it to the World Series in 2008 and lost to Howard’s Phillies.
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PT 1 — We sat down with the Home Run King, MVP and World Series Champ and talked about his career, the 2020 season and his involvement in the @scottslawn Field Refurbishment Program, which refurbished four youth baseball and softball fields this year in Gary, Ind., Memphis, Tenn., Ferguson, Mo. (Ryan’s home state), and Oakland, Calif. As an ambassador of this program, Ryan and softball legend #JennieFinch were part of the Blue-Ribbon panel who selected these four communities and participated in virtual unveiling ceremonies.
We are pleased to once again partner with Scotts to improve field conditions in these four communities,” said Tony Reagins, Executive Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development, MLB. “In these difficult times, we hope that one day soon youth baseball and softball can be a unifying force in communities all across our nation.
For now, we believe these renovated ballfields can offer some optimism for the future in light of many not being able to play organized baseball and softball yet this year. We look forward to continuing to provide access to quality fields so youth across the nation can continue to play our great game.
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PT 2 — We sat down with 2-time NL Home Run King, MVP and ‘08 World Series Champion Ryan Howard. Ryan talked about the current @phillies team and the one in 2008 that defeated the #Rays in the World Series and his involvement in the @scottslawn Field Refurbishment Program, which refurbished four youth baseball and softball fields this year in Gary, Ind., Memphis, Tenn., Ferguson, Mo. (Ryan’s home state), and Oakland, Calif. As an ambassador of this program, Ryan and softball legend #JennieFinch were part of the Blue-Ribbon panel who selected these four communities and participated in virtual unveiling ceremonies.
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.