[GRAND RAPIDS, MI] – Kent Companies is supporting the revitalization of Rasberry Field, a community baseball facility located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. The revitalization effort is a joint initiative by the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Whitecaps and Fifth Third Bank.
The project received an initial grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to renovate the field and to fund equipment and uniforms for an inner-city youth baseball and softball league. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a joint initiative between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball. Kent Companies’ residential concrete division donated time and resources to construct a concrete foundation for the equipment shed at Rasberry Field. The project was led by superintendent Jason Stephens. Kent Companies partnered with Standale Lumber and Eikenhout to complete the project.
Kent Companies Division Manager Jeff French shared, “Baseball teaches skills that go beyond the playing field. It’s about discipline, teamwork and camaraderie – all with a healthy competitive spirit. Those skills carry over into the classroom and life.” Kent Companies CEO Jeff VanderLaan added, “Baseball is a sport that brings families and communities together to support the students who are giving their all on the field. Kent Companies is proud to be a part of that.”
Rasberry Field is named after American Negro League player Ted Rasberry. Ted Rasberry was born in 1913 and came to Grand Rapids in 1935. He played a role in developing and running various baseball leagues throughout the city. Rasberry was also a player, manager and owner of the Grand Rapids Black Sox, Kansas City Monarchs and Detroit Stars in the American Negro League. The YMCA expects 450 to 600 Grand Rapids youth to participate in the free inner-city youth baseball/softball program this summer.