The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation to Celebrate Opening of Sports Complex

Staff Report

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, Braves RBI – Macon, and the Macon Housing Authority (MHA) will dedicate the new field, named for a local coach (**surprise announcement at the dedication**), at Tom Fontaine Complex in Macon, Georgia on November 12th at 11 am.  The multipurpose synthetic surface youth sports facility is a symbol of hope and healthy choices for underserved youth in Macon-Bibb County. This new athletic facility will now serve as home field to United Way initiative, Braves RBI - Macon, as well as a venue for their afterschool youth recreational sports programs provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Central Georgia. MHA was thrilled to obtain the property to promote positive youth athletic programs and activities in the area.  As such, the field will offer a productive environment for students at Matilda Hartley Elementary School and local youth to continue to grow and develop.

This is an exciting day for the kids of Macon, who now have access to a safe place to play learn and grow,” said Steve Salem, President and CEO of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. With the support from the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation and Braves RBI - Macon, we can bring new hope, lasting memories and positive life experiences to this deserving community.”

Speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony will include:

George McCanless, President and CEO United Way of Central Georgia

Jeff Battcher, Macon RBI 

Danielle Bedasse, Atlanta Braves Foundation

Lester Miller, Mayor-elect of Macon-Bibb County

Mike Austin, CEO, Macon Housing Authority

Sherron Sinclair Tullos, Guest speaker

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players are thrilled to be involved with this investment,” said Jean Batrus. We believe providing access to those who lack resources can catalyze youth baseball and softball participation, and we are truly excited to bring our efforts to the city of Macon.”

The multi-purpose field is designed for soccer, baseball and softball game play with features that include a digital scoreboard, goals, dugouts and bleachers. The facility will provide a productive environment for students, as well as benefit the overall community with a safe and clean space for healthy physical activity and opportunities for youth development programs. 

“This Youth Development Park gives area kids a safe, state-of-the-art environment to play in while also expanding the historic Tom Fontaine complex,” said George McCanless. “Our hope is also that we can use sports as a way to teach life skills and provide mentorship opportunities for these boys and girls.”