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
Kids beginning their baseball card collection
Kids beginning their baseball card collection

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Time again for a review of progress made here at The Pitch within the past 90 days and hoping everyone enjoyed a summer of warm memories and free of health concerns.

Despite the worries of the world, The Pitch and the adjacent Sosua municipal baseball field serve many aspiring underprivileged young players on the Dominican North Coast looking for a safe place of refuge away from the pressing concerns of their daily life. Here they can practice the game they love and keep their hopes alive for future success of one day becoming a professional baseball player. 

In addition to our core mission of offering free batting cage swings to kids 5 - 10 years old we continue to collect inventories of used baseball equipment from US Little League communities (gloves, shoes, helmets, jerseys, pants, baseballs, etc.) and distribute them directly into the hands of players of all ages here. This helps those, many of whom have little or nothing, to adequately practice yet desperately need/deserve them to effectively hone their skills.

There are many other ongoing needs here. Due to heavy usage, there is #1 the recurring need of purchasing the special Juggs yellow dimpled baseballs (and softballs for the young women's players) we regularly cycle through. Also, with the salty and corrosive humid air here, there are consistent ongoing maintenance concerns to uphold the basic infrastructure which must be addressed to keep the facility up and operating.

These include:

1.) Repetitively repairing and bolstering the aging metal framework which supports the cage netting

2.) A basic roof system to protect both the pitching machines and home plate areas from the elements which pool up with water when it rains and prevent the kids from using the Pitch

3.) Weatherproof storage solutions for safely storing the used baseball equipment, water bottles for the kids, tools for pitching machine maintenance, rakes for groundskeeping, small locker for daily Pitch operator Bodega for his personal effects, and other items

4.) Fulfilling the vision to expand the area behind the pitching machines we need to regrade the existing rough surface and bring in soil to convert it into a pitching mound for pitching instruction 

I am also excited to report on the continuing warm reception and positive impact the Cards4Sosua baseball card distribution program (link below) is having on the young players and coaches in this country. Now expanding to other baseball communities and under the umbrella of The Pitch this unique project is quickly growing in popularity.

Words can't adequately describe the joy I feel to be present at the moment the kids step into the cage to take their free swings or when that big smile comes over their faces when equipment is given to them or they see baseball cards for the first time. Giving them the "tools" they need to practice and inspiring them by receiving actual US MLB baseball players (current and past) gives them hope and motivation for the future which is priceless. 

As there are so many opportunities (other than the needs cited above) to help these deserving kids please consider personally sponsoring an individual young player. I will connect and introduce them to you via video so you can develop a personal relationship and then keep you updated on their progress as they develop as both ballplayers and young men.

Please don't hesitate to contact me via email with any ideas to sustain and grow this valuable community resource

Thank you for "helping me help them" and for your contributions to "The Pitch"!

Best,

Hugh Baver

New affixed placard honoring Tony Fernandez
New affixed placard honoring Tony Fernandez
Corroding metal framework holding up the netting
Corroding metal framework holding up the netting
Kids coming into the Pitch for Saturday practice
Kids coming into the Pitch for Saturday practice
Need for protective roofing of facility after rain
Need for protective roofing of facility after rain

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Bodega with kids leading training at The Pitch
Bodega with kids leading training at The Pitch

  

Dear Friends and Supporters,

 

Happy Summer everyone as I’m excited to update everyone on the events and continuing activities here at The Pitch in Sosua!

 

With COVID hopefully abating and restrictions being loosened, how wonderful it was just yesterday to see over 150 young players in gleeful attendance at the local field as both the popularity and real need for this program in this location continues to grow.

 

Not only do we offer free batting cage swings to all area kids aged 5 - 10 years old but also offer “cage time” to women’s softball players and older prospects looking to hone their swing in hopes of becoming professional players.

 

Having already demonstrated its value by producing the 2019 Dominican Little League Championship team, thanks to my trusty assistant “Bodega” Castillo, who continues to faithfully execute on his duties here, this community program holds even more promise for future growth.

 

Further exploration of the youth baseball culture here has presented me with the unique opportunity to travel to different baseball communities around the country.  This has only served to solidify my commitment to this program by witnessing the tangible results it produces firsthand including the widening influence of the new accompanying Cards4Sosua baseball card program.

 

Once the small recurring base monthly expenses of sustaining “The Pitch” can be stabilized I envision expanding this program to offer you and sponsoring contributors the opportunity to come visit here to get an “upfront and up close” experience including arranging for a tour of Little League fields and MLB baseball academies. 

 

Per the attached article we have had some setbacks but this does not deter us from our mission to “serve the undeserved” area youth of Sosua and baseball communities throughout the country delivering our message of developing a “Plan B” to baseball as well as focusing on learning English as a 2nd language.

 

I am consistently striving to gain local business and individual support to maintain this valuable community resource which provides not only actual “activity” but more importantly “hope” as young people struggle to grasp the magnitude and ramifications of the Pandemic.

 

As “The Pitch” program was born in Sosua I believe this is where it should stay. 

Keeping this in mind I have considered moving the cage and machines down to an adjacent larger city, Puerto Plata, with a wider aperture of potential sponsors and supporters however with even a modest level of help this move would not need to occur.

 

It truly takes so little to sustain so much as even a modest commitment and contribution works wonders and goes directly into the hands of Bodega or towards purchasing needed recurring supplies like baseballs. 

 

Please help me to pursue this worthy effort throughout 2021and as always feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions or specific requests.

 

Thank you!

 

Hugh Baver

Director of “The Pitch” Maquina de Batear

603-502-7711 on WhatsApp 

Activity at the field
Activity at the field
Promising professional players practicing here
Promising professional players practicing here
Cards4Sosua Giveaway
Cards4Sosua Giveaway

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Dear Friends and Pitch Program Supporters,

Welcome to a new year and my first project report of 2021. 

As challenging times associated with the global pandemic persist my primary hope is for your personal health and for the health of your families. 

Despite COVID and always maintaining the safety of the players, coaches, and their families, I continue to remain incredibly impressed with the deeply embedded spirit and love for the game of baseball here in the Dominican Republic.

As the popularity and enthusiasm for The Pitch Batting Cage program here in Sosua grows I am constantly looking for creative ways to enhance this valuable community resource which keeps young players off the streets and away from other negative influences.

Although the overall number of young participants has dropped since the height of participation 1 year ago, typically serving 150 players per week and up to 100 cycling through on Saturdays, we still maintain an active schedule of aspiring young players who enjoy coming to this facility to take their free swings. 

I’m pleased to announce the mid December 2020 launch of “Cards For Sosua”, a new creative baseball card giveaway program working in collaboration with baseball card collectors in the US. 

https://cards4sosua.wordpress.com/

As actual photos and videos best capture the smiles and overall impact of The Pitch please view the attached links.

Despite demonstrating the immense overall value and hope to young players this program provides our sponsorship levels regrettably are diminishing. 

Due to the pandemic which continues to take its toll financially on local businesses and the tourism industry here which is the lifeblood of the Dominican economy, your financial assistance makes a huge difference.

I am still striving to raise the funds to continue repairing the facility with hopes of installing a protective roof as well as commencing education seminars and English as a second language classes.

Please consider making a contribution, in any increment towards maintaining this community program and helping these young aspiring players.

Thank you for all you have already done to keep The Pitch program going!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally with any questions or personal requests you may have.

 

Sincerely,

 

Hugh Baver

Director of The Pitch Maquina de Batear

New glove for aspiring young girl
New glove for aspiring young girl
Baseball Card Holiday Giveaway
Baseball Card Holiday Giveaway

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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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Organization Information

Sosua75 Inc

Location: Pittsfield, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Elihu Baver
Pittsfield, MA United States
$6,074 raised of $25,000 goal
 
126 donations
$18,926 to go
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