If your community’s youth baseball field is in need of repair but needs a little outside help, Chevrolet’s Diamonds & Dreams program could bring the extra hands you’re looking for.
For the past four years, Chevrolet in partnership with Ripken Design, a division of Ripken Baseball, has organized 42 youth baseball field makeovers across the country through the Diamonds & Dreams program. From New Jersey to Indiana to California, small town and inner city baseball fields have been given new life for the next generation of Major League Baseball hopefuls.
The makeover includes new bases, fences, bats, helmets and gloves for the community. Youth baseball players also receive professional instruction through clinics with Ripken Baseball staff members. Chevrolet already had a strong baseball relationship at the national level through MLB but was looking to give back to where their customers live, work and play.
“Every young person should have the chance to play ball on a well maintained baseball diamond,” said Mike Weidman, Chevrolet national promotions manager.
Communities seem to agree as participation in the program grows each year.
“I’m not surprised that Chevrolet would sponsor a program like this,” said Johnny Cooper, a contest winner from Wetumpka, Ala. “I think it’s a great program to let an individual win something and then award it where a large group of people can get the benefit of it.”
The program continues this year and accepts entries until July 31. Baseball fans across the country can visit www.chevybaseball.com and enter to win a refurbished baseball field for their community as well as a 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
Renovations of the winning fields are administered through Ripken Design, which is owned and operated by National Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and 12-year MLB veteran Bill Ripken.
“In this phase of my life it is all about making a positive impact on kids and growing the game at the grassroots level,” said Cal Ripken. “You can do good things on your own, but with partners like Chevrolet you can do so much more.”
Once the field is chosen, Ripken Design completes an initial evaluation. They work with the city as well as the parks and recreation department to agree upon a renovation and maintenance plan. Each plan focuses on the aesthetics, playability and safety of the field. When that plan is finalized, the makeover begins and takes only a few days to complete.
“Regulation baseball is played on natural grass,” said Steve Peeler, director of sports field management at Sports Fields, Inc. “So if there are any kids coming through that need to learn the fundamentals for playing at a higher level, they can start at this field here.”
Check out the gallery to view the Chevrolet Baseball YouTube channel for Diamonds & Dreams transformation videos and testimonials. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN4Rhc0XcPM&feature=share&list=PL1E8195B0EF62B334