03/14/12 1:37 PM ET
BTF grant used to renovate flood-ravaged field
By Zack Meisel / MLB.com
Located in Hendersonville, Tenn., just outside of Nashville, Hendersonville High School received a grant for $47,366 from the BTF to help fund the reclamation of its baseball diamond in Drakes Creek Park. The money went toward restoration of the outfield, including the installation of an automatic irrigation system, warning track and outfield fence.
"The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is honored to assist in funding the renovation of a baseball field that is so integral to the Hendersonville baseball community," said Cathy Bradley, executive director of the BTF. "We know the flooding devastated the lives of so many in this area, and we are happy to help with the restoration effort where we can."
Flooding damaged the field after two-day rain totals exceeded 19 inches in some parts of Tennessee on May 1-2, 2010. Twenty-one deaths were recorded in the state.
The school will host a grand reopening of the field at 5:45 p.m. ET on Monday, with appearances by Hendersonville mayor Scott Foster, Henderson High School representatives and front-office executives from the Nashville Sounds, the Milwaukee Brewers' Triple-A affiliate.
"After the flood, our community was extremely concerned as to how we were [going] to re-establish the facility," said Dave LeMarbre, Hendersonville parks and recreation director. "With the support of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, we were able to exceed expectations and create a first-class facility. Our community is extremely grateful and we look forward to many players using our fields for years to come."
The BTF promotes the growth of youth baseball and softball worldwide by issuing grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other causes. BTF has awarded more than $21 million to organizations in four different continents since its creation by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in 1999.
The new field will be used by the school's high school varsity and junior varsity teams, the Babe Ruth Recreational League, middle school spring league and various travel teams.
"Our program is tremendously fortunate and humbled to have received a grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund," said Andy Gilley, Hendersonville High School's assistant head baseball coach. "The grant has allowed our program to accomplish the goal of improving our facility since it was devastated by the flood in 2010."