Miami Lakes Optimist Club wins $50,000 grant from Major League Baseball and Scotts

Sports By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Thursday, June 16, 2022

Miami Lakes Optimist Club wins $50,000 grant from  Major League Baseball and Scotts

     Miami Lakes Optimist Club’s littlest ball players will soon have two properly outfitted fields of their own, thanks to Major League Baseball and Scotts lawn product company. 

     Through the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program, the Optimist Club was one of four community athletics organizations in the United States awarded improvements worth $50,000 for two sports fields. 

    The goal, MLB and Scotts said in a media release, is to provide a safe and quality field, to keep town youth active and to teach sportsmanship.

     “What we did was [we] found a little practice area that was near a maintenance shed near the tennis courts and it wasn’t being used for anything,” Chris McCall, president of Miami Lakes Optimist Club said. 

     That area is now where the fundamentals of T-ball -- such as where the bases and outfield are -- are being taught in a new program to kids ages 4 and 5. 

     The Optimist Club already offers T-ball games for kids who are 5 and 6 years old. 

     Getting chosen for the award means that they’ll be able to overhaul the area, according to McCall. 

     “They’re [going to] come in and redesign the fields for us for the best positions [for bases and safe alignment of the fields],” McCall said. 

     Miami Lakes Optimist Club was the only Florida organization that was chosen.

     The other winners are in Cleveland, Mo., Philadelphia and Huntington, W. Va. 

     “We were excited to win,” McCall said about the prize for boys and girls to have fields to play on. 

      The program began with around 26 kids and has doubled.  McCall said he expects to have four teams of the youngest age group this season. 

      As of June 17, there was no date set for the spruce up, but it should happen ahead of the fall T-ball season. 

      Parents looking to sign their kids up for T-ball, baseball or softball at The Optimist Club can visit https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/ocmiamilakes

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