The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua

by Sosua75 Inc
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The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
The Pitch - Batting Cage in Sosua
Best sign painter in town
Best sign painter in town

Dear Friends and Project Supporters,

As all are aware since my last report 3 months ago life has been surreal and unprecedented in every way for everyone. My first thoughts are those of hope and support to you that your circle of family and friends have remained safe and healthy during these troubling times.

Here in Sosua I am devoting every effort to make this a constructive transformative time during The Pitch facility closure. As their customary refuge and “escape” from the struggles of every day life the young baseball players here have been locked up in their homes during the extreme summer heat and trying to manage their overwhelming urge to get back on the field and into the batting cage. 

Working directly with you to help improve the young players’ outlook and inspire them with hope, I’m attempting to provide enhanced baseball resources and create an improved facility for them to return back to in November when the country, businesses, and overall tourism activities here are scheduled to re-open.

Recently on August 28th, and in keeping with all prescribed Covid safety protocols, a private event was convened to dedicate The Pitch facility in honor of Dominican and MLB great Tony Fernandez. Not only was Tony a superior player; All-Star, Gold Glover, and World Series Champion, via his dedicated work ethic and strong faith he overcame a life of abject poverty in San Pedro de Macoris becoming a great humanitarian and positive role model for all young players to emulate in the Dominican Republic and around the world.

Per the attached photos and Dominican Today article the event was attended by over 100 local dignitaries and supporters including the Mayors of all 3 major cities on the Dominican North Coast. The new President Luis Abinader sent a representative from his cabinet to personally endorse the program with an additional separate letter of support sent from Robin Bernstein, the current US Dominican Ambassador.

The 4 “guiding principles” of The Pitch program are:

  • Batting and pitching practice and skill development instruction
  • Professional and post baseball advising and mentoring
  • English as a second language ESL 
  • Collection and Distribution of Used baseball equipment to needy youth players

Recent Developments: 

Reporting on the progress made since my last update, during the now 6 month interim of time while the facility has been officially “closed to the public”, thanks to your previous or ongoing monthly financial support and sponsorship, measurable and substantive progress has been actualized on addressing a few desperately needed critical infrastructural reparations which include:

Construction of:

  • A new backstop with the Pitch logo painted on both interior and exterior to replace the old broken one
  • Bolstering and re-soldering the existing metal cage framework 
  • Delivery and installation of new heavy duty poly professional quality baseball netting which will hold up more strongly from the deteriorating effects of the elements sun, rain, and sea air
  • A new 12’ x 12’ concrete pad to safely position the pitching machines on a solid level foundation

Purchase of: 

  • A heavy duty tarp serving as a temporary roof and water barrier protecting the pitching machines from the elements 
  • “Juggs” specially designed baseballs and softballs for repeated usage and wear and tear

Near Term Plans:

COVID 19 precautionary safety measures, guidelines, and restrictions permitting, beginning Nov. 1st we will be:

  • Initiating the ESL (English as a 2nd language) classes for the young players through the new collaborative partnership with IIC (Instituto Intercultural del Caribe) 
  • Scheduling our first “Happy and Healthy” seminar through a newly formed partnership with HHI (Health Horizons International) 
  • Dedication of “Cage time” to young women’s softball players who love the game yet are always repressed and relegated to the “back of the line”

Future Plans:

  • Establishment of a large scale used baseball equipment distribution center here at The Pitch serving the entire Dominican North Coast.
  • Coordination of International youth baseball tournaments here at the field in Sosua enlisting teams and Little League programs from the US, Canada and South America. 
  • Discussions with an air transport company who owns a large warehouse in Miami who is potentially willing to dedicate some space to receive and store all US used baseball sent and then fly them down to the nearby Puerto Plata airport for easy retrieval.

By sustaining this valuable community resource we are empowering local youth through baseball; addressing their complete 360 degree development while spurring new “Sports Tourism” and the overall economic recovery of the area. This project is a tremendous opportunity to help make a real impact on the lives of truly underprivileged and underserved young people here. 

I am humbly appreciative of the fact that “The Pitch” has earned the coveted seal and public citation from the GlobalGiving team as a “Staff Favorite” so I’m hoping it will earn your seal of favor and approval as well! 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly via email with any specific questions or to discuss ways you can become more involved to be a valuable part of this success story.

 

With Gratitude,

Hugh Baver

Director of “The Pitch Maquina de Batear” on Facebook 

603-502-7711 on WhatsApp 

 

Event attendees
Event attendees
View of event printedagenda and program attendees
View of event printedagenda and program attendees
At podium with dear friend and Spanish interpreter
At podium with dear friend and Spanish interpreter
Distributing used baseball equipment sent from US
Distributing used baseball equipment sent from US
The Pitch prior to renovations thanks to you
The Pitch prior to renovations thanks to you
Never have seen more enthusiastic young players
Never have seen more enthusiastic young players
Event presentation of local champions and players
Event presentation of local champions and players

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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

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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

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We have had a great fall season with a lot of kids using the facilities at the batting cage

 I am pleased to announce that the local league that we are able to work with the most ,won the Dominican Little League Championship at the end of the last quarter. We are extremely happy  with that result, and are pleased that we were able to help the kids with their training and provide plenty of pitches and additional time in the batters box as they prepared for their winning series.    Fall in The Dominican Republic brings the start of the new season, while American baseball is in the off season the Dominican leagues are just getting started and practice is in full swing for the 2020 season The kids are putting in as much time in the cage / batting practice as possible and we are hopeful for another successful season.    We have also had the pleasure of working with several kids/young adults that are taking their game to the next level by  attending university " One of our young playes has received a full ride scholorship {athletic}  in the United States and we said goodbye and good luck to him this past quarter as he prepares for his new life in the United States 

We have been working hard on our League/to Liga adoption program where Little League organizations in the United States and Canada can Adopt or Sponsor a Little Liga organization within the Dominican Republic. Our direct contacts  assist with the logistics and then distribute the equipment to a Dominican league in need.  With our direct intervention we are able to confirm that the equipment is distributed directly to the children that need it  and we are able to avoid the equipment being resold on the street for profit.  The next shipment contains about 50 bats, helmets, shoes, and gloves that we hope to be able to distribute during the 2019 Christmas season to help a few of the kids. Customs currently has this shipment on hold while we gather the funds requested to relaese the shipment. The shipment was not supposed to be taxed or even delivered to Santo Domingo but that is just how the system works and we are hoping for a positive outcome.    If your interested in participating in this program please use the contact us within the Global Giving site and we will return the email or you gan email us direct at  ThePitchSosua@gmail.com 

Our equipment donations are up this year but our cash donations, the life sustaining element of or organization has severly diminished.  Lower tourism numbers due to several factors has decreased our visability as well as recent changes taking place here in the local community of Sosua.  These changes are an attempt to make Sosua and the surrounding area more "Family Friendly"  While we are all supportive of this new look and feel for the community, It has put yet another major strain on the local economy with higher unemployment and a lack of available resources for our families & friends to work with.   Our cash donations year to date are down 85%  as compared to last year during the same time period.  The lack of cash donations has severly slowed down our growth and has prohibited needed facilities maintenance and has prohibited us from putting together our mobile unit so that we can take The Pitch Batting cages out into the community to assist the majority kids that do not have access to our stationary facility 

We have recently updated the donation portal to include a couple of really easy monthly single donation options as well as our recurring options which will let us actually plan for our future by allowing some donations to repeat monthly.   

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Happy Kids with new Shoes
Happy Kids with new Shoes

The Pitch/ Maquina de Bateo Sosua Dominican Republic

We have had a great summer season with plenty of kids using the facilities at the batting cage

Currently we are providing about 600 free sessions to the kids each month. I am also pleased to announce that the local league that we are able to work with the most has won the Dominican Little Championship. This has never happened for this area before so we are very pleased with this years result, We can not accept all of the credit because it is after all the kids and the league who trains and works on their skills daily but we believe that having access to the batting cage for daily batting practice with consistant pitching in the zone has remarkedly improved their game  Having decent shoes and gloves donated by The Pitch helps as well. 

Since April 2019 we have given away about 40 pairs of athletic shoes, mostly baseball cleats and about 30 leather baseball gloves, as well as assorted other equipment articles. We are pleased to say that we have made significant progress in our equipment collection progress and have a major donation of equipment processing thru customs and immigration control in Santo Domingo. We are working hard to establish a league/to Liga addoption program where Little League organizations in the United States and Canada can Addopt or Sponsor a Little Liga organization within the Dominican Republic. Our direct contacts will assist with the logistics and then distribute the equipment to a Liga in need.  With out direct intervention we can assure that the equipment is distributed directly to the children in need, and we are able to avoid the equipment being resold on the street for profit.  This current shipment contains about 40 Bats, Helmets, Shoes, Gloves.  If your interested in participating in this program please use the contact us within the Global Giving site and we will return the email or you gan email us direct at  ThePitchSosua@gmail.com 

Our equipment donations are up this year but our cash donations, the life sustaining element of or organization has severly diminished. The Dominican Republic has received a lot of negative press this year due to some incidents at mostly All Inclusive resorts and this has trickled down into our program donations. Lower tourism numbers decrease our visability and the kids suffer the most. Our Cash donations year to date are down 85%  as compared to last year during the same time period.  The lack of cash donations has severly slowed down our growth and has prohibited us from putting together or mobile unit so that we can take The Pitch Batting cages out into the community to assist the majority kids that do not have access to our stationary facility 

We have recently updated the donation portal to include a couple of really easy monthly single donation options as well as our recurring options which will let us actually plan for our future by allowing some donations to repeat monthly.   

Equipment Donations
Equipment Donations
Direct to the kids Donations
Direct to the kids Donations
Bats for the practice
Bats for the practice
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Organization Information

Sosua75 Inc

Location: Pittsfield, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Elihu Baver
Pittsfield, MA United States
$3,964 raised of $25,000 goal
 
75 donations
$21,036 to go
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