By Spencer Fordin
From wall to wall and field to field, this facility bleeds Cincinnati red.
Three major institutions — Major League Baseball, the Cincinnati Reds and consumer goods company Procter & Gamble — came together Friday to unveil the newest Urban Youth Academy, a four-field facility that will allow local children the opportunity to play baseball and softball free of cost.
The Cincinnati academy is the fourth in the MLB family, and it’s the first one in the Midwest and in a cold-weather city. But in some ways, it’s a whole new endeavor. The newest academy cost $7 million to build and boasts a 33,000-square-foot indoor facility that will allow kids to play in poor weather.
It's official! The countdown is over. The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is open… http://t.co/lcP28k1wAR pic.twitter.com/uvxNEkOZ39
— Reds Community Fund (@RedsCommunity) August 22, 2014
The Cincinnati community welcomed the new facility in style Friday, with 400 people showing up for a gala ribbon-cutting ceremony that included the participation of two Hall of Fame legends. Joe Morgan and Frank Robinson, stars of Cincinnati’s past, were on hand to register their amazement.
Current Reds players Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce were all part of Friday’s unveiling, as was Bob Castellini, the chief executive officer of the Reds. Castellini said that he never could’ve imagined this facility at last year’s groundbreaking, and he was proud to be a part of it.
State Rep. Alicia Reece & I share a few moments w/ Brandon Phillips at the Urban Youth Academy @DatDudeBP pic.twitter.com/esCC6YM8RH
— John Cranley (@JohnCranley) August 22, 2014