Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ian Snell, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, Del Monte Foods and The Grable Foundation, in conjunction with the City of Pittsburgh, have officially opened Josh Gibson Field. The complex, which consists of two infields and one shared outfield, will be home to the Josh Gibson Foundation youth baseball program.
The renovated complex features two new grass infields, a restored shared outfield, new pitcher's mounds, four new dugouts (one including a second "press box" level), new bleachers, a scoreboard, sprinkler system, as well as a concession stand that includes ADA compliant restrooms and a baseball equipment storage area. Perimeter fences have been repaired and maintenance equipment has been purchased for continued use on the field.
"We are proud to play the role of catalyst in bringing this group of partners together to rebuild this field and make this type of long-term positive impact. This project has reenergized this park by transforming it from an unusable field into a place where area youth can focus on productive activities and positive interaction with their peers and coaches," said Pittsburgh Pirates and Pirates Charities Chairman Bob Nutting. "The Pirates organization has strongly supported our community in various ways during the course of its 122-year history. I am proud that the organization and our players continue to carry on that strong tradition with impactful projects such as this."
Josh Gibson Field - A Pirates Charities Project is home for the Josh Gibson Foundation baseball program that includes more than 250 inner-city youth. The renovation of Josh Gibson Field greatly enhances the baseball opportunities currently provided to participating youth and will help the program to grow by attracting new participants. In addition, the new complex provides the Josh Gibson Foundation the ability to host fundraising tournaments, thus ensuring the program's future.
"We sincerely appreciate what Bob Nutting, Ian Snell, Pirates Charities, the City and all of the other funding partners have done to make Josh Gibson Field such a great youth baseball complex for these kids. This field is very special to me and my family, because it's where my great-grandfather played. Our kids are proud to call this our baseball home," said Sean Gibson, Executive Director of the Josh Gibson Foundation and great-grandson of Negro League great Josh Gibson. "This field will help promote the game of baseball among inner-city youth. It, along with our program's educational component will positively impact the lives of these children both on and off the field."
In support of Pirates Charities, Pittsburgh-based Massaro Corporation and Sports Turf Specialties, Inc. of Glenshaw were also heavily involved in the completion of the project. Massaro Corporation provided design and building services and Sports Turf Specialties, Inc. did the field work. As their generous donation toward the effort, both companies significantly discounted their fees for this project.
The Josh Gibson Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which was established in 1994. It is the goal of the Foundation to establish a history and learning center in Homestead, PA to reach out to the families and youth of the community on which Josh Gibson left his mark. Because the family is the basic building block of our society, the Josh Gibson Foundation has created programs to include the entire family. These programs included life skills training seminars and workshops. Parents are also encouraged to take an active interest in their child's participation in educational and athletic programs offered by the Josh Gibson Foundation. The Josh Gibson Foundation currently sponsors a 10 team baseball program for young people ages 9 through 12. The league is linked directly with the Foundation's educational programming. Approximately 250 participants play in the league annually, and the active participation of parents and guardians in the league and educational programs is encouraged. For more information on The Josh Gibson Foundation, please visit www.joshgibson.org.