Jun 23, 2020

Grand Reopening Ceremony of The Pitch after COVID planned for mid-summer

Support Letter from the new Mayor of. Sosua
Support Letter from the new Mayor of. Sosua

 

Dear Friends and Supporters,

 

It is with a tremendous sense of honor and thankfulness for the good timing of this report that I bring to you this latest news and upcoming planned developments at “The Pitch”  batting cage project here in Sosua.

 

After 3 months of complete inactivity at the field due to the unanticipated onset of the Coronavirus and mandatory closure of the field by Dominican Government regulation now we can begin to look forward to re-opening this beneficial community resource again to the young aspiring players 

 

Never before in the history of the Dominican Republic has baseball ever been shut down before so there is an overwhelming urge to get back onto the field where many area youth players call their home.

 

The 4 pillars of the program are:  

 

  1. Baseball Training and Skill Development 
  2. Distribution of used baseball equipment from Northeastern US communities 
  3. Personal & Professional Vocational Mentorship 
  4. Education, specifically teaching English as a 2nd language 

 

Notable recent developments: 

 

  1. Per the attached official letter, the newly elected mayor of Sosua has given his 100% approval supporting this facility and its present and future value to the community 
  2. We are planning a grand reopening ceremony at the Sosua municipal baseball field where the new Mayor of Sosua along with other high ranking Dominican dignitaries and Ambassadors will speak 
  3. The great Dominican and recently deceased MLB All star and World Series Champion Tony Fernandez will be honored and the Pitch batting cage facility will be dedicated in his memory. Far more than a great baseball player Tony was an upstanding example of his good deeds off the field and after his retirement which will serve as a wonderful motivation to many young players 
  4. I’m working hard to find new collaborative partners and underwriting sponsors who reflect the same values and can help provide financial assistance to upgrade the conditions of the Pitch within the next month to make for a facility the whole community can be proud of and one which is deserving of Tony Fernandez and all which he represented.

 

This will spur new tourism related to baseball prospect and overall economic recovery to the area helping to transform the region into one which is known to be a regional major baseball prospect training area vs. current reputation for more undesirable activities 

 

Please help in any way you can as every $ will go directly towards field infrastructural improvements, new baseball equipment such as netting, pitching machine baseballs, promotional banners, and supplies needed to sustain this valuable community resource

 

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly via email with any specific questions or ways you can get more closely involved in this success story

 

Thank you for your help with Health and Strength to All,

 

Hugh Baver

Director of the Pitch

edb1260@gmail.com

With DR and MLB great Tony Fernandez & wife Clara
With DR and MLB great Tony Fernandez & wife Clara
Examples of desperate repairs needed at The Pitch
Examples of desperate repairs needed at The Pitch
View looking from within with cage netting torn
View looking from within with cage netting torn
View from inside with current disintegrated net
View from inside with current disintegrated net
Home of 2019 DR Little League Champions is here
Home of 2019 DR Little League Champions is here

Links:

Jun 9, 2020

Digital Event Now Planned with COVID-19

Dear Friends and Supporters,

In these shifting times of sweeping social change and overriding health concerns it is important to contemplate creative alternatives to gathering together in large numbers which certainly also apply to this Conference.

Let me begin by expressing my sincere thanks to all of you who took an earnest interest in helping and supporting this Conference both in 2018 and again last year.

By way of brief review, this Conference was conceived and planned for November of 2019 however despite every effort being put forth regrettably the event necessitated cancellation within a week of it convening due to a shortfall of required funding and last minute event de-committs from a couple of major event underwriters. These funds were needed specifically to cover the expenses of lodging and meals for the 50 plus students, distinguished educators,and top level keynote speakers who were scheduled to attend the event.

With both great disappointment and also sincere encouragement expressed from the committed scheduled event attendees I had thought of attempting to convert the Conference to a televideo version so it still could take place last year however the runway to organize it was just too short. The hope was to try it again this year however all plans needed to be placed on hold, like so many other Conferences and large public gatherings, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the current travel restrictions.

So, the plan now is to look forward to re-scheduling this Évian III Student Educational Leadership Conference Conference for this November as a quality major televideo produced event. Although it will be difficult to replicate the same “vibe and feel” of hosting this as an on-location event at the historic Hotel Royal original 1938 Conference site I feel confident the magnitude and impact for these international students can still be achieved. 

As evidenced by the horrifying recent events in the US which have continued to expose the ugly underbelly of systemic racism and AntiSemitism, fighting the issues of intolerance and inequality in the world today could never provide more fertile ground for constructive and meaningful dialogue on these topics. This was the spirit and intent of conducting last year’s event and for continuing this effort in a different format to educate the leaders of tomorrow.

Please know my commitment to making this highly beneficial Conference a reality this year, albeit in an alternative format, is still very strong! With the hope of not letting this vision and all the effort invested by so many “die on the vine” contributions of any size will be greatly appreciated. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions and Thank you

Wishing everyone health, strength and tolerance for a better world!

Hugh Baver

Director of Évian III Student Educational Leadership Conference 

Feb 28, 2020

"The Pitch" Quarterly Progress Report Project #38634

Melvin "Bodega" Castillo
Melvin "Bodega" Castillo

Dear Friends and Project Supporters,

It is with high optimism and great enthusiasm that I submit this first GlobalGiving project report for “The Pitch” since I have taken over active management of the facility within the past month. 

Due credit needs to go to “The Pitch” Founder Russ Wieser whose original vision back in 2017 created the foundation of this program and whose indefatigable efforts sustained it until a recent career move necessitated his moving out of the country. 

“The Pitch” facility is located on a sliver of land beyond the right field outfield wall at the municipal field in the historic city of Sosua on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. This ballfield is the proud home of the 2019 Little League Dominican championship team. 

When I asked their coach what he attributed his team’s success to his response was “getting the extra batting practice at “The Pitch”. This proof point is a major one in the fact that the total number of youth baseball teams in this country who eat sleep and breath baseball and compete for this coveted honor is vast. 

So many young boys here have aspirations of making it to the professional level but do not have even the most basic of suitable equipment to play. Addressing this need another vital aspect of this program involves my sourcing inventories of used baseball equipment from Boston and other Northeastern communities and having it shipped down to the Dominican Republic. I then collect it up from the Dominican customs division and present them to the many underprivileged youth players here.

We also welcome women softball players to come and practice to hone their hitting skills as the pitching machine can also accommodate softballs. 

The monthly operating expenses of this facility are very low yet the overall benefit to the local community is tremendous as this keeps the young players here, aged 7-17, off the street and away from other negative influences. 

Part of the future plans here are to expand the capabilities of this training center by purchasing a radar gun to also measure the skills of the pitching prospects who come to this field which would truly make this a comprehensive training facility. As a former professional level player I will personally lend my expertise to train and supervise their development as both promising ball players and well rounded men. 

For so little per month, your contribution, in any increment, will go so far towards the realization of these goals.

Please consider “helping me help them” to make this facility a role model for others throughout this country.

Thank you,

Hugh Baver, Program Director 

603-502-7711 Email: edb1260@gmail.com

With Red Sox Operational Director Javier Hernandez
With Red Sox Operational Director Javier Hernandez
In honor of MLB great and Pitch Tony Fernandez
In honor of MLB great and Pitch Tony Fernandez
Some of the used baseball equipment
Some of the used baseball equipment
Fully outfitted youth in the Batting cage
Fully outfitted youth in the Batting cage
Mural on local community wall
Mural on local community wall

Links:

 
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