Tri-City ValleyCats to renovate 4 Capital Region youth fields in 24 hours

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Tri-City ValleyCats, sponsors and volunteers are pulling everything up from four local fields so a new foundation can be laid down thanks to one very special young man’s idea.

Danny Buchanan, a member of the Cohoes JV baseball team, is only 14 years old and also the reason the ValleyCats is renovating the Berkley Park ball field.

“It’s one of our best community outreach events of the year,” said Chris Chenes of the Tri-City ValleyCats.

Back in February, Danny came up with a proposal which would give kids in Cohoes with special needs a chance to take part in America’s greatest pastime.

“I see that kids that have developmental disabilities aren’t playing in, like, organized sports, and I wanted to give them a chance to play on a team where they’re learning how to play baseball,” he said.

Cohoes Little League President Mike Smith says it was a no brainier to implement Danny’s plan.

“He came up with the idea in the beginning part of the year,” Smith said. “Brought it to us as ‘Baseball Buddies,’ and we kind of ran with it with Challenger Division, and he’s been the driving force behind it.”

On Thursday, the ValleyCats, as part of their ‘4 in 24′ youth field renovation project, are making sure the diamond in Cohoes is ready for the Challenger Division this upcoming season. It’s just one of four fields to be renovated as part of the project.

“It brings me joy to see kids, hopefully when this starts, have smiles on their faces playing the game of baseball,” Danny said.

The project costs between $25,000 and $30,000, and the Cohoes Little League will now get new sod, a new home plate and new bases.

“I feel really happy that the community has my back on this one,” Danny said.

Renovation began around 7 a.m. Thursday and is expected to be completed by nighttime when the players will have more reason to do what they love.

“There’s nothing like opening day,” Tri-City Vice President and General Manager Rick Murphy said. “A lot of these leagues opening up in the next week and to be able to see the smile on the face of the kids on opening day and the coaches and the parents, hot dog, baseball – the national pastime – it’s a great day. We’re excited to be a part of it.”

Danny will be actively promoting the league and assisting with the registration process, and Danny’s mom Sherry says the fact that her son is making the dreams of special needs kids come true is simply amazing.

The new renovations will allow Cohoes to add a Challenger division to their league. Other fields that will be renovated include Coxsackie-Athens Little League, Town of Hoosick Youth Baseball and Niskayuna Baseball.

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