FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
WASHINGTON, DC – The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL) is proud to announce that it has expanded into the nation’s capital, welcoming the new D.C. Grays as its tenth team in one of the country’s premiere summer wood-bat college-level baseball leagues.
The Grays will play its home games at the newly-renovated baseball stadium, Hoy Field, at Gallaudet University in Northeast Washington, D.C., and will work with Gallaudet on a major new youth baseball outreach program for children in the District. The team, which boasts an ownership group that includes African-American representation, will also work to make sure that its roster includes a number of black college ballplayers. The team will do promotions and community events that celebrate the history of baseball in Washington D.C. The name chosen for the team evokes the memory of the Homestead Grays – the great Negro League champion team that played in Washington, D.C. in the 1930s and 40s.
The Grays will be the tenth team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, which is made up of teams from the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. metropolitan region and feature amateur players from colleges and universities around the country. The Cal Ripken League, founded in 2005, is quickly becoming a ‘destination point’ for collegiate players as one of the top summer wood bat leagues in the country.
“We are very proud to welcome the D.C. Grays to our league,” said Robert M. Douglas, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League commissioner. “We look forward to having the Grays build a strong reputation as ambassadors to both youth baseball and the African-American community throughout the District . The creation of our tenth franchise in the District is significant, as it further solidifies our goal of building solid ball clubs that can have a great opportunity in reaching out to amateur collegiate ball players from around our country who want to play highly competitive summer wooden bat baseball, without having to travel long distances. The D.C. Grays will be a ‘home run’ for our league on so many levels.”
“We want the Grays to be a magnet that will attract kids from all over the city with fun, affordable, family-friendly baseball,” said Michael Barbera, the President and Chairman of D.C. Grays Baseball, the non-profit organization that will run the team. “We are going to put a great team of college ballplayers on the field and make it exciting for our fans every night.” Barbera is a partner with the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm American Continental Group and a board member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. He was captain of the baseball team at Williams College.
Antonio Scott will be the general manager of the Grays. Scott, a former baseball player for Howard University, will be responsible for all baseball operations, including assembling the Grays roster and hiring the coaching staff. Scott was also the general manager of the old DC Grays, a summer wood-bat team that played in the now-defunct Clark Griffith Collegiate Baseball League.
The other members of D.C. Grays Baseball are: Michael Bell, vice-president with the lobbying firm Valente & Associates; Brad Burris, an executive with the youth outreach and mentoring group S.M.A.R.T. (Sports Management, Academics, and Recreational Training); Jeff Burton, deputy executive director with the National Republican Congressional Committee; Robert Duff, owner of FedComp and CEO of the Diamond Dream Foundation; Kevin McGuiness, owner of the McGuiness Group; and Ed McDonald, chief of staff to Congressman Howard Coble (R-NC).
Gallaudet is a great partner for the Grays, as the university seeks to make its first-class facilities available to the Grays and the wider D.C. community through an aggressive youth outreach program that will feature free baseball camps and clinics for local kids. The new baseball facility at Gallaudet will feature field turf, stadium seating and eventually lighting, concessions stands, and a press box.
“I am delighted to welcome the newest Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League franchise, the D.C. Grays, to Gallaudet University,” said Gallaudet Athletic Director Michael Weinstock. “We look forward to this liaison with the greater Washington baseball communities, and to the exciting new complex that will be shared by the Grays as well as the university’s own baseball and softball teams.”
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.
The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL) (www.calripkenleague.org) will begin its eighth season in 2012, as a wooden bat summer program made up of amateur players from a wide variety of colleges and universities from throughout the United States. The league is regionally located in the Baltimore/Washington, DC metropolitan area. Teams in the league are the, Alexandria Aces, Baltimore Redbirds, Bethesda Big Train, D.C. Grays, Herndon Braves, Rockville Express, Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, Southern Maryland Nationals, Vienna River Dogs and Youse’s Maryland Orioles.