Amanda M. Cain

Taking you beyond the stadium walls and into the community.

Category: Baseballtown Charities

Baseballtown Charities provides “field of dreams” for Reading youth

Any true baseball fan knows the famous line “If you build it, they will come” from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. Although it is surrounded by brick and stone instead of stalks of corn, Gordon Hoodak Stadium at Lauer’s Park has become a “field of dreams” for the young members of the Reading Olivet Boys’ and Grls’ Club.

Renovated in 2006, the stadium was the first major project for Baseballtown Charities, a non-profit organization established in 2000 by the Reading Fightin Phils.

Gordon Hoodak Stadium was renovated in 2006 as the first major community project for Baseballtown Charities. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

Gordon Hoodak Stadium was renovated in 2006 as the first major community project for Baseballtown Charities. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

Located on the grounds of Lauer’s Park Elementary School, the stadium is named after long-time school principal Gordon Hoodak.

The stadium is named after long-time Lauer’s Park Elementary School principal Gordon Hoodak. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

Every summer, the stadium has been the home of the Reading Olivet Boys and Girls Clubs RBI League teams. Each year, the Reading Fightin Phils players visit the stadium to provide clinics for the young players and spend time sharing the sport that they love.

For Baseballtown Charities president Chuck Domino, the renovation of the stadium is one of his greatest accomplishments during his time in Reading.

“That was kind of my one-man effort,” Domino said. “I raised the money and I designed the stadium and I found the contractor.”

Located on the grounds of Lauer's Park Elementary School, the stadium serves as the host of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club RBI League. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

Located on the grounds of Lauer’s Park Elementary School, the stadium serves as the host of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club RBI League. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

Some of baseball’s most well-known names once played on the grounds where the stadium now sits. Players such as Babe Ruth, Lefty Grove, and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, who is a main character in the film Field of Dreams, made stops in Reading on their way to the majors.

The people who know Domino from working with him or for him will be the first to agree that the renovation of the stadium is one of his greatest moments.

“He approached major business leaders in the area and convinced them that building a state of the art little league stadium in one of the roughest areas in the city would benefit not only the urban kids who needed a safe place to play, but it would start a relationship with the Olivet Boys and Girls Clubs and suburban little league teams,” said Mike Robinson, Fightins Executive Director of Community and Fan Relations.

While everyone knows that the stadium is named after the elementary school principal, few know the story behind the name. An anonymous donation was made at the beginning of the renovations and came with one condition; the newly renovated stadium was to be named after Gordon Hoodak.

In 2006, an anonymous donation was made to the renovation under the condition that the stadium be named after Gordon Hoodak. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

In 2006, an anonymous donation was made to the renovation under the condition that the stadium be named after Gordon Hoodak. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

This August, Baseballtown Charities along with members of the community celebrated the 10th anniversary of Gordon Hoodak Stadium. In the past ten years, the newly renovated ballpark has helped hundreds of children from around the city learn how to play America’s Pastime, including a number of members from the 2014 Berks County High School Baseball Champion Red Knights from Reading High School.

Even though he stepped down as general manager of the Fightin Phils a few years ago, Domino remains the president of Baseballtown Charities. Although Gordon Hoodak stadium is not the only project to have been completed by the organization, it will remain at the top of Domino’s list of accomplishments for one simple reason.

“Knowing that’s there because I decided I wanted to put the effort in and make it happen,” Domino said.

Baseballtown Charities works to bring the sport of baseball to Reading’s youth

As the Reading Phillies were preparing for the 2002 season of baseball a new group of youth in Reading were getting prepped for what would be a brand new season of a sport so many love and may not have the chance to play. A newly formed charitable organization would give every kid a chance to play baseball.

Baseballtown Charities began in March 2002 and has continued to raise money each year to benefit the youth of Reading and provide them with the opportunity to play America’s Pastime.

In the time since its inception, Baseballtown Charities has seen to the renovation of two city-owned baseball facilities. In 2006 the renovations were completed at Gordon Hoodak Stadium in Lauer’s Park and the baseball field at Baer Park was completed in 2014.

Before every game, the Baseballtown Charities 50/50 raffle is advertised on the main videoboard. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

Before every game, the Baseballtown Charities 50/50 raffle is advertised on the main videoboard. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

Through the use of fundraisers and support from multiple local organizations, the organization has provided local children with the opportunity to learn the sport of baseball and participate in games throughout the summer.

Over the course of each year, Baseballtown Charities relies on multiple fundraising activities and support from local organizations to raise the funds needed for projects such as city field renovations. One such fundraiser is the Baseballtown 50/50 raffle that takes place at home games throughout the season.

A roving 50/50 ticket sales girl explains the raffle to an interested fan. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

A roving 50/50 ticket seller explains the raffle to an interested fan. (Photo: Amanda Cain)

During each game, fans can purchase tickets from roving 50/50 ticket sellers or at a booth in the main concourse and one lucky winner is announced during the final innings of the game. That lucky fan takes home half of the total amount raised and the other half is donated to Baseballtown Charities.

Another fundraiser and a surefire crowd pleaser is the ever popular professional wrestling night. During one home game, members of ChikaraPro put on a post-game wrestling show for fans and also make a donation to Baseballtown Charities.

Baseballtown’s largest offseason fundraiser is the Winter Banquet that features dinner and a chance to hear from some big names in the Phillies organization. The 2016 Banquet attendees included Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Makanin, Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola, Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp, and Phillies President Andy MacPhail.

Fans purchase tickets for seating at the Banquet and proceeds from the ticket sales benefit Baseballtown Charities.

Within the first decade of it’s existence, Baseballtown Charities raised over 1.6 million dollars that was put into creating a safe and fun environment for the children of Reading to enjoy the sport of baseball. Since that time, it has become about more than just raising money. Local teams have donated used equipment and numerous Reading Fightin’ Phils teams and players have donated their time to help teach the kids the sport that they grew up playing.

Every season Baseballtown Charities continues to raise money to benefit Reading’s youth. As a result, each season more children are given the chance to participate in a sport that provides life lessons and entertainment at the same time.

As the seasons continue and more children are given this opportunity, Baseballtown Charities will continue to prove why baseball truly is America’s Pastime.

Robinson connects Fightins with local community

Mike Robinson has held a full-time position within the Reading Fightin Phils front office for the last 14 seasons. Now entering his 15th season, his second as the Executive Director of Community and Fan Development, he continues to love what he does, even as his responsibilities grow year after year.

“My position now is Executive Director of Community and Fan Development and I’m also in charge of a good portion of the game staff,” Robinson said. “That includes ushers, diamond girls, security, and Phunland employees.”

After getting his start as a part-time usher in 1993, Robinson rose through the ranks and now goes out into the community as a sort of “face of the franchise” representing the organization at dinners and other events.

He is also responsible for escorting Fightins players to different events and handling mascot appearances. If an organization is looking for a donation, be it merchandise for an auction, tickets to a game, or the occasional monetary donation, Robinson is the one who makes the final decision as to whether or not the request will be fulfilled.

“If somebody asks for a donation request, I fulfill them,” Robinson said. “We try to fulfill everybody’s request.”

Working so closely with the community is part of what keeps him coming back each year. He loves the interaction with the different groups and the different challenges that arise each day.

Along with his full-time position with the organization, Robinson also serves as the secretary for Baseballtown Charities.

“I do a lot of different things here,” Robinson said. “But I love it. I have a great time in what I do.”

Raising fun and funds

While the Reading Fightin’ Phils work year round to continuously raise funds for Baseballtown Charities, they also offer community groups and teams the chance to complete their own fundraisers. There are two fundraising options for groups or teams and they include selling Fightin Phils ticket books or selling e-tickets.

“It’s not hard to participate at all,” said Andrew Nelson, the Fightins Executive Director of Fundraising. “We make it easy for organizations by not having them handle any money or tickets.”

The Fightin Phils ticket book fundraiser is fairly simple for organizations. One of the easiest aspects of the fundraisers is that individuals who are selling the books do not have to collect any money ahead of time. Sellers simply take names and addresses of interested participants and fill out an order form.

Once the order form is filled the group leaders return all forms to the Fightins and the group’s work is completed. The Fightins take care of mailing out the ticket books and collecting all payments.

Each ticket book contains six general admission tickets that are good for any home games throughout the summer. The cost of each ticket book is discounted from the original price of $42 per book to a special fundraiser price of $27 per book and the selling organization receives nine dollars from each book sale.

The individual sellers in the group also have the opportunity to earn extra rewards from the Fightins. Prizes include hats, bags, jerseys, and more depending on the number of ticket books sold.

As it is shown in the chart below, if an organization chooses to, the Fightins also offer the organization the opportunity to be in charge of collecting all the money and receive $10 for each book sold.

FightinsFundraisers

Infographic created by Amanda Cain. Graphic created at www.easel.ly. Information obtained at www.fightins.com.

For those organizations who do not feel up to reaching out to friends or family on an individual basis, but still wish to fundraise with the Fightins the E-Ticket Fundraising Program is the perfect opportunity.

As displayed in the above chart, with the e-ticket program a group or group leader simply picks a date and reserves a batch of tickets.

After the tickets have been reserved the Fightins send a link that can be emailed to friends and family or shared on Facebook or Twitter. Any interested participant can click on the link and see what tickets in the batch are available.

After choosing seats within the batch, the buyer will be required to sign into an existing TicketReturn.com account or will be asked to create one if they do not already have an account. Once an account has been accessed, the buyer will proceed to purchase the requested tickets.

Through the e-ticket program the cost for each ticket is nine dollars and the group earns two dollars from each ticket sold. The Fightins will send the group a check approximately one week after the chosen game has taken place.

Any type of organization or group may participate in the Fightins’ fundraisers.

“Organizations that usually fundraise with us are PTOs, Scout groups, Little Leagues, Churches, and Relay for Life groups.”

If there is one thing that everyone despises when running a fundraiser, it is making sure that all of the money is collected in a timely manner. With both of the fundraising programs offered by the Fightin Phils, this does not become a concern. The Fightins take care of the difficult task of collecting money.

“Most other fundraisers people have you do require you to not only collect all of the money, but to also be responsible for distributing the tickets or items to all buyers,” Nelson said. “With our fundraisers we take care of that for you!”

Participants simply sign up, sell ticket books or individual tickets while encouraging others to enjoy a summer of baseball, and then sit back, relax, and enjoy a night at the ballpark.

Looking back on past kings

With football season drawing to a close and spring training just around the corner, the Reading Fightin’ Phils are preparing to crown the newest King of Baseballtown at the annual winter banquet. The honoree for the 2016 season is Kutztown University baseball coach Chris Blum. As Blum prepares to accept his new title, the baseball history of past kings becomes a topic of conversation.

When looking at the previous kings of Baseballtown for the past 15 years, there are three major information points in each persons’ background that stand out. The infographic below takes these three points, Major League playing experience, coaching and managing experience, and playing experience in Reading, and compares the backgrounds of five previous kings.

KingsofBaseballtown

Infographic created by Amanda Cain. Image created at http://www.easel.ly/. Numerical information retrieved from http://www.baseballtown.org/

Major League playing experience would be considered by most to be a major component in choosing the face of an organization for a year. When looking at these past five kings, only three of the five played Major League Baseball.

Dick Gernert, the 2005 king, had the most experience with 11 years. Gernert played for the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, and Houston Colt .45s. The 2003 king “Broadway” Charlie Wagner played for the Boston Red Sox and Carl Mathias played for the Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators on his way to becoming the 2010 King of Baseballtown.

While Charlie Flannery (2014) never played Major League Baseball, he does have the most experience out of the five playing in Reading with 12 years of recreational baseball.

Gernert spent 10 years playing both professional and recreational baseball in Reading before and after his major league career, while Wagner played recreational ball for 10 years before signing with the Red Sox. Mathias spent five years playing recreational baseball in Reading prior to his professional career.

The final category of the infographic looks at baseball from the coaching side and is the only category in which the 2015 king, Kevin Devera, makes an appearance. While Devera never played professionally, he has had a major impact on baseball in the Reading community as the director of the Olivet RBI Baseball Program, part of the Olivet Boys and Girls Clubs of Reading.

For the past 11 years, Devera has brought the sport of baseball to inner city kids and helped them to learn to love the game and pursue the sport throughout high school and college.

Wagner spent 44 years after his professional career working as both a pitching instructor and scout for the Boston Red Sox. Flannery spent 31 years coaching with Gregg Post American Legion. Gernert spent two years managing and coaching for various minor league organizations after his professional career ended.

There are a variety of different aspects that go into choosing a king or queen of Baseballtown, but baseball experience plays a large part. Each of the kings of the past have either played professionally or recreationally, or coached some aspect of the game. The above infographic provides a visual presentation of this information for a small portion of previous kings.

It will be interesting to look back 10 years down the road and make more comparisons to see how baseball experience continues to impact the crowning of kings in the future.

Community bands together to light up mountainside

READING, PA- Every December the residents of the city of Reading turn their eyes to Mt. Penn and Hillside Playground, anxiously awaiting the annual Christmas light display. After the disbanding of the Hillside Playground Association this past summer, it seemed that Christmas on the Mountain had come to an end.

When local business owners heard the news that Christmas on the Mountain may not take place this year, they came together to carry on this longstanding tradition.

In a post on the event’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ReadingXmas, community members such as Tim Profit, general manager of Savage 61, and Richard Carpenter, President/CEO of Access Industries, are named as two out of the many locals who have worked tirelessly to help this tradition see its 25th season.

The Marine Corps JROTC from Reading High School offered their time and energy to help with the setup and operation of the display, which includes inflatable characters and over half a million lights.

Christmas on the Mountain has inspired a long list of local sponsors who wish to see this tradition live on. The Reading Fightin Phils and Baseballtown Charities have made that list and have once again reached out and done their part to help the city of Reading.

Walking through the display is eye-opening and jaw-dropping. For first time visitors, the site can be somewhat overwhelming. Everywhere you turn there are lights and inflatables filling every available square inch. From giant Santa Claus and snowmen to inflatable Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Christmas on the Mountain brings out the child in everyone.

For the younger visitors, Santa is on hand to hear holiday wishes and take photos that will create long-lasting memories for years to come.

The site opened for the season on Nov. 29 and is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The attraction runs through Jan. 1.

Hillside Playground is located on North 14th Street in Reading. Parking and entrance into the playground are free and a snack bar is open to all visitors.

If your family loves Christmas lights and is looking to start a new holiday tradition, take a drive up to Hillside Playground and enjoy Reading’s Christmas on the Mountain.

Baseballtown to crown a new king

READING, P.A.- Each winter Baseballtown Charities and the Reading Fightin’ Phils host fans and baseball players alike for the annual Phillies Winter Banquet. While the event is a great night for fans to interact with players from both the major and minor league teams, the evening also includes the crowning of the King of Baseballtown.

The first King of Baseballtown, “Broadway” Charlie Wagner, was crowned in 2003, the year Baseballtown Charities was formed. Since then, there have been 11 kings and one queen crowned in Baseballtown.

Each king and queen has their own special ties both to the sport of baseball and to Baseballtown and the Fightins’. Experience in the sport ranges from coaching at different levels in Reading to playing with the Reading Indians to playing in the majors or in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

In an article published on the official Baseballtown site, http://baseballtown.org/baseballtown/kings-queen-baseballtown.html, the organization gives insight into what qualifies someone for the title of King or Queen of Baseballtown.

The article states “The honor of the title King or Queen of Baseballtown is bestowed upon someone who embodies the spirit of the game in Baseballtown at any level of the sport, whether it be as a player, coach, administrator, executive, philanthropist, or ambassador. The King or Queen is someone who has contributed mightily to the game of baseball here in Baseballtown.”

Previous Kings of Baseballtown include Paul “Cooter” Jones, a member of the Reading Indians and coach at Reading High School from 1973-96, Dr. David Q. Voigt, a baseball author, and Kevin Devera, director of the Olivet RBI Baseball Program in Reading.

The lone Queen of Baseballtown was Ruth Hartman, a former member of the All-American Professional Baseball League Fort Wayne Daisies and Racine Belles. Hartman also played amateur ball in Pennsylvania and worked in the Reading School District.

The 2016 Phillies Winter Banquet will take place on Jan. 19 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Reading Crowne Plaza Hotel. The evening will include a cocktail hour, dinner, a sports auction, prizes, special guests and, of course, the crowning of new Baseballtown royalty. The recipient of this honor has not yet been announced by the team.

If you find yourself looking for a way to get out of your house this winter and want an early taste of spring, go to www.fightins.com and purchase your ticket to the 2016 Winter Banquet. Be there as Baseballtown welcomes its newest king or queen to the realm.

Santa and Fightins burn rubber to benefit Toys for Tots

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collected donations at FirstEnergy Stadium during the 9th Annual Eastern PA Toy Run

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collected donations at FirstEnergy Stadium during the 9th Annual Eastern PA Toy Run.

READING, Pa- Santa Claus traded his sleigh for a motorcycle on Sunday, November 1 as he led the 9th Annual Eastern PA Toy Run to benefit Toys for Tots. The ride started at Classic Harley-Davidson in Reading and travelled 25 miles to FirstEnergy Stadium, where the Reading Fightin’ Phils hosted the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event was open to the public and guests were asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy or make a monetary donation to gain entrance. Participants in the ride were also asked to make a donation at the time of registration. All proceeds from the event benefit the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots programs in Berks and Lebanon County and The Children’s Home of Reading.

Once inside the stadium, riders and guests mingled while enjoying live music.

Refreshments were available for purchase at one of the stadium concession stands. Santa was available to listen to children’s Christmas wishes and pose for photos throughout the afternoon.

The overall feeling of the event was excitement at the idea of doing something to help children in need. Diane Greenwood, a local resident and employee of the Fightins, expressed the thoughts of most in attendance saying, “It’s a good thing. It benefits the kids.”

Along with Santa and live music, vendors were set up in VIST Bank Plaza offering a wide range of information for guests. Participating vendors included Tompkins VIST Bank, Lady J. Cosplay, and Mostly Muttz Rescue, among others.

Another local resident, Carol Moyer, comes to almost all community events hosted at the stadium. “I just like coming out. I like being here with everyone,” she said when talking about what brought her to the event.

According to an article posted on the Fightins’ official website, the Eastern PA Toy Run began in 2007 as a collaboration between the Reading Fightin’ Phils and multiple motorcycle runs in the area as a way to continue benefiting Toys for Tots and The Children’s Home of Reading after the deployment of the Marine Corps Reserve Unit. It became the Eastern PA Toy Run after the cancellation of the Berks County Toys for Tots motorcycle run.

Participants with Lady J Cosplay at the Eastern PA Toy Run at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Participants with Lady J Cosplay at the Eastern PA Toy Run at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Participants with Lady J Cosplay, dressed as The Avengers and other superheroes, were participating in the event for the first time. The group, which does quite a bit of charity work in different areas, had nothing but positive feedback. “We had an absolute blast on the ride,” one participant dressed as Nick Fury said. “We were in the bed of a truck going about 50 miles an hour.”

Guests also had the chance to meet some furry friends from Mostly Muttz Rescue. All of the animals in attendance were available for adoption.

Guests got to meet dogs up for adoption through Mostly Muttz Rescue at the 9th Annual Eastern PA Toy Run.

Guests got to meet dogs up for adoption through Mostly Muttz Rescue at the 9th Annual Eastern PA Toy Run.

Through the generosity of baseball fans and motorcycle enthusiasts alike, children in Reading and across Berks and Lebanon County will have a merrier Christmas this year. The toy run is just one more way the Fightin’ Phils organization has found to help make an impact on the local community.

How to Get Involved with Baseballtown Charities

Giving back to your community is always a positive and rewarding experience. Help the Reading Fightin’ Phils and Baseballtown Charities bring the love of America’s Pastime to the city of Reading and its youth while also helping to revitalize the local community. Getting involved is easy and a great way to share your passion for this wonderful sport.

Step 1: Learn about Baseballtown Charities and what they do.

In order to work with an organization, the first thing you must do is find out what the organization is about and what kinds of projects they generally focus on. There are a number of ways to learn about Baseballtown Charities.

  • Visit the official website for Baseballtown at baseballtown.org. Here you will find the background information about both Baseballtown and Baseballtown Charities. There is information about the goal of the charity and projects that have already been completed. You will also find contact information for the people involved with the organization.
  • Go to fightins.com, the official site of the Reading Fightin’ Phils, and research stories that the team has published about their involvement with the organization. Baseballtown Charities works in connection with the team and this site is a great source of information about the different events held throughout the year.
  • Learn more about the groups mentioned in the previously completed projects. By knowing more about the types of groups the organization works with, you will get a better understanding of what Baseballtown Charities is all about.

Step 2: Connect with members of Baseballtown Charities.

After learning about the organization, you need to make contact with the people involved. The best way to participate in the events is to have someone who knows you are interested in helping out and is able to contact you when the next event rolls around.

  • If you feel wary about contacting a member of the charity board, you can connect with a member of the Reading Fightins’. Information for the Fightins’ office staff can be found at fightins.com under front office directory. By talking to a member of the Fightins’ organization, you can learn more about Baseballtown Charities and stay up-to-date on different events taking place.

Step 3: Sign up for the Baseballtown Insider.

Having made contact with people involved with Baseballtown Charities, the next step is to find a way to insure that you always know what is going on with the organization. The Fightins’ and Baseballtown Charities have found a way to make this easy for you. All you have to do is sign up for the Baseballtown Insider email newsletter. This is easy enough to do. To sign up, visit http://baseballtown.org/baseballtown-insider.html and fill out the short subscription form. The newsletter is a regular update on what is happening in and around Baseballtown and is completely free for fans. Aside from being a staff member with the organization, this is the best, and easiest, way to stay informed about the events regarding the Fightins’ and Baseballtown Charities.

Step 4: Connect via social media.

Now that you have made contact with a member of the organization and signed up for the free Baseballtown Insider, it is time to make a few more connections. In this day and age, almost every organization is able to connect with fans and participants via social media. The Fightins’ are no exception. While there are no direct social media accounts for Baseballtown Charities, you can still connect with people directly involved with the organization.

  • The first account you should connect with is the Fightin’ Phils official Twitter account (@ReadingFightins). By following this account, you will stay up-to-date on events in the community involving the team and Baseballtown Charities. The Fightins’ are continuously posting information about events in the community that they are running or are involved with in other ways.
  • Along the same lines as following the official Fightins’ account, it will also be beneficial for you to follow the twitter account for the team’s public relations director, Eric Scarcella (@FightinsPRGuy). Scarcella posts information about the team and Baseballtown Charities as they organize and take part in community activities.
  • Be sure to go on Facebook and click the like button on the Reading Fightin’ Phils page. This will insure that you never miss out on any information regarding the team and Baseballtown Charities. By liking the page, you will be sure to see every announcement and article that is posted regarding both organizations.

Step 5: Attend a Fightins’ game and participate in a pre-game or post-game fundraiser.

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Fightins’ Ugly Sweater Christmas in July jersey. Photo: Amanda Cain

Several times throughout the season, the Reading Fightin’ Phils have theme nights such as Christmas in July, Irish Heritage Night, and Harley Night. During these games, the team wears specially designed jerseys that are autographed and auctioned off at the end of the night. The proceeds from the auctions go to Baseballtown Charities.

Player-autographed Ugly Christmas Sweater jersey. Photo: Amanda Cain

Player-autographed Ugly Sweater jersey.
Photo: Amanda Cain

Another fundraiser they hold all season is the 50/50 raffle. During each game up until the seventh inning, fans can purchase raffle tickets. At the end of the game, one ticket is drawn and the winner takes home half of the money that was collected. The other half of the money goes to Baseballtown Charities.

Toss-a-Ball is another great fundraiser held by the team. Fans purchase tennis balls with numbers written on them and at the end of the game throw them on the field at targets, trying to win money or tickets. On certain nights, the money that is raised through the sale of the tennis balls is donated to Baseballtown Charities. These are easy ways for you to get involved and help Baseballtown Charities.

Toss-a-Ball numbered tennis balls. Photo: Amanda Cain

Toss-a-Ball numbered tennis balls. Photo: Amanda Cain

 

 Bringing baseball to Reading’s youth is just the tip of the iceberg for Baseballtown Charities. By getting involved with this organization, you will find you are a part of a much larger project than sharing America’s Pastime. You are a part of a group that truly believes in a community and what it can become and will do what it takes to make this idea a reality.

 

Additional Tips

  • Learn about fundraisers available for groups or individuals.
  • Come up with an event you can run that the organization could be a part of or benefit from.
  • Get involved with groups that have benefited from the organization’s work.
  • Research upcoming events in the community.
  • Get to know the people involved with the organization.

Travel beyond the stadium walls

Every summer thousands of baseball fans flock to FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, PA to watch the Reading Fightin’ Phils, the Double A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.  Each game is filled with excitement and entertainment and always begins with the announcer welcoming fans to Baseballtown.  New fans who are not familiar with the team may wonder, what is Baseballtown?

According to the Baseballtown website, the name Baseballtown was trademarked in 2002.  While the name takes root in the presence of a professional team being in the city, it encompasses so much more.

The sport of baseball was a part of this city long before the Fightins’ came to town and will remain a part of the community for years to come.  This website will take you beyond the walls of FirstEnergy Stadium and out into the community of Reading, taking a look at the impact baseball has had on the city.  You will be introduced to the people who are the true driving forces behind the organization and discover how they put their passion for the sport into helping out the community.

You will also learn about the impact the team itself has had on the city.  Discover the different ways the players have found to help out around the community and bring the love of the sport to the local children.

We’ll visit the site of Lauer’s Park, the inaugural project completed under the Baseballtown Charities organization, and learn what it has meant to have a beautiful stadium for the local leagues and teams to use and bring the sport to young fans who might otherwise not get the chance.

This website will show you these experiences and much more, taking you beyond the walls of the stadium and into a community that has been greatly impacted by a sport that is loved by so many.

From projects completed by Baseballtown Charities to community service work done by the players themselves, the sport has helped to revitalize the local community.  By traveling beyond the walls of America’s Classic Ballpark, you will discover why baseball truly is America’s Pastime.

© 2017 Amanda M. Cain

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