June 20, 2011
THINK DETROIT PAL BEGINS BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL SEASON WITH OPENING DAY ALONG THE RIVERFRONT
Detroit, Mich. – While the Detroit Tigers and the rest of the professional baseball teams are about two months into their season, the potential future professionals that take part in Think Detroit PAL’s 2011 DTE Energy Foundation Detroit Youth Baseball League got its season underway on Saturday June 4th. Opening day for baseball and softball was held at Maheras-Gentry Park on the city’s Eastside. The 2011 season is funded in part by a generous grant from the DTE Energy Foundation.
“This is really what it’s all about. This program exists for the kids,” said Michael Porter, Chief Executive Officer of Think Detroit PAL. “To see them out here on a day like this, when they’re finally going to get a chance to put their skills on display after several weeks of practice, it very heartening. They’re having experiences that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
The Think Detroit PAL baseball and softball programs saw an increase of over 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, with the number of baseball participants alone rising from 613 children in 2009 to 759 in 2010. This year, the baseball and softball programs have grown, with nearly 1,400 children expected to participate.
While opening day provided the players with a ton of excitement, it was a day the adults involved were looking forward to as well. “It’s exciting for me as well,” said Richard DeMyers, coach of the Orioles softball team. “We practiced over the course of the winter. It seems like the weather held up, so it makes it even more exciting.”
Everyone agreed that the day was a success – From the perfect weather, to the manicured fields and the children having fun.
“It’s very emotional for me,” said Richard Reznik, Think Detroit PAL baseball commissioner. “The uniforms are nice, they look great. I love the game of baseball, this is my favorite sport by far. I just get choked up whenever I see the kids out here playing, especially on opening day.”
Children from all around the city play in the Think Detroit PAL baseball and softball program, which offers programming options for girls and boys ranging in age from four to 19.
To see photos from Opening Day, click here.
Think Detroit PAL was formed in 2006 with the merger of Think Detroit Inc. and the Detroit Police Athletic League. In partnership with the Detroit Police Department and community volunteers, Think Detroit PAL builds character in young people through athletic, academic and leadership development programs. In 2010, Think Detroit PAL served over 10,000 girls and boys through 10 sports, making it one of the largest youth organizations in the state of Michigan. More than 80 cents of each dollar donated to Think Detroit PAL goes directly into programming.
For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, please contact Think Detroit PAL at 313-833-1600 or on the web at www.thinkdetroitpal.org.