For Immediate Release
March 15, 2007
CAPE COD BASEBALL LEAGUE RECEIVES FIELD IMPROVEMENT GRANT FROM YAWKEY FOUNDATION
Cotuit and Wareham Receive 2007 Funds
CAPE COD, Mass—For the third straight season, the Cape Cod Baseball League has received a grant of $300,000 from the Yawkey Foundation to support improvements of its baseball fields, this time in the villages of Cotuit and Wareham.
Lowell Park, home of the Cotuit Kettleers and Spillane Field, home of the Wareham Gatemen, will receive $150,000 each to utilize for field improvements to support the activities of the Cape League, as well as countless community baseball leagues, including high school, Babe Ruth League and American Legion baseball teams.
This is the third time the Cape League has received a $300,000 grant from the Yawkey Foundation, as Bourne and Brewster benefited in 2004-05 to assist in the construction of two new baseball fields for the Bourne Braves and Brewster Whitecaps and Falmouth and Hyannis received similar grants in 2006 to improve existing facilities at Guv Fuller Field for the Falmouth Commodores and McKeon Park for the Hyannis Mets.
“We are absolutely thrilled with this latest and most extraordinary generosity of the Yawkey Foundation II,” said Dick Sullivan, Chair of the CCBL Field Improvements Committee. “This grant will ensure completion of major field improvements at both Cotuit and Wareham. We are now in a position where six of our ten franchises will have completed much needed upgrades, including two brand new, state of the art fields. The completion of all of these projects has been made possible by the Yawkey Foundation II, further enhancing the Cape League’s position as the premier summer collegiate baseball league in the United States.”
The Foundation has a long history of supporting the Cape Cod Baseball League and this grant will be part of a continuing effort to sustain and revitalize the area’s playing fields. This support will greatly enhance necessary improvements
thereby helping the towns, communities and children, who will have access to the joys of baseball.
Within the next two years, the Yawkey grant, along with matching funds, will enable the Cotuit Kettleers to re-surface the entire playing surface, replace aged fencing, install new visitors bleachers, relocate and replace the scoreboard and install a second well for field irrigation.
“The Cotuit Athletic Association is honored to have been selected to receive a 2007 Yawkey Foundation grant,” said Cotuit Athletic Association President Martha Johnson. “For over 60 years, volunteers have been able to manage and improve Lowell Park solely through support of private benefactors. The Yawkey Foundation grant will give the organization an enormous jump start toward the completion of an ever-growing list of projects at Lowell Park. “The Cotuit AA is most grateful for the generosity of the Yawkey Foundation and ultimately for the gift it has given to our village and Town.”
The Wareham Gatemen, who will host the 2007 Cape Cod Baseball All-Star game July 28, will utilize Yawkey grant monies for various improvements to Spillane Field, including an eight-foot high fence around the entire complex, providing security to the area for the first time. Proper irrigational and a new playing surface will be provided for the outfield areas. Coupled with the team’s investment last fall in a completely redone infield, the Gatemen will have an entirely new playing surface. New safety features, such as increased seating behind new right field fence and safety fencing in front of both dugouts have been introduced. Several field lighting adjustments have already been made.
“It is a true honor and privilege to be selected by the CCBL and Yawkey Foundation as a recipient of a 2007 grant,” said Wareham Gatemen President/GM John Wylde. “We consider ourselves very fortunate and are extremely grateful. It is our intention to have the entire (field) project completed by mid-April 2007. The Wareham School system has been able to obtain funding for the construction of a new well. Irrigation for all fields within the area will now be handled by well, rather than town water.”
The mission of the Yawkey Foundation is to continue the charitable legacy of former Boston Red Sox owners, the late Tom and Jean Yawkey, by making grants that provide immediate, significant and positive impact on the quality of life of youth, families and the underserved. The Yawkeys were committed to organizations focused on youth and amateur athletics, education, health care, social services, arts and culture and conservation.
Following the 2002 sale of the Red Sox, the reach of the Yawkey Foundations has broadened considerably.
“The Yawkey Foundation is pleased to provide a grant this year to Wareham and Cotuit” , said Jim Healey, President of the Yawkey Foundations. “The Cape Cod Baseball League continues to play an key role in developing some of the outstanding players in the game today. Tom and Jean Yawkey were passionate about amateur and professional baseball and the Boston Red Sox. Supporting these two field improvement projects is a good fit for the Yawkey Foundation.”
Beginning its 123rd season in 2007, the Cape League originated in 1885 with individual town teams, was reorganized into the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1923 with teams in Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis and Osterville and is now the premier collegiate baseball summer league in the country. A total of 198 former Cape Leaguers are performing in the major leagues.