Minute Maid and Astros-In-Action have pledged to refurbish one youth ball field each year by providing renovated field surfaces, fencing, covered dugouts, scoreboard or other needs.  Employees of both organizations assist in the refurbishment efforts.  In 2009, the Astros and Minute Maid will refurbish a Fort Bend County baseball field benefiting the “Dream League.”

Members of the First Colony Little League Dream League took the field at Minute Maid Park prior to the Astros game Friday evening to be recognized as the recipient of the 2009 Grand Slam for Youth Baseball annual ballpark refurbishment program. Dream League players shared the spotlight with representatives from the Houston Astros, Minute Maid and the City of Sugar Land. (Top L-R) Pictured are Junction Jack, Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson, First Colony Little League President and Former Astros Pitcher Shane Reynolds, Sr. VP, Coca-Cola North America and General Manager, Minute Maid Business Unit Mike Saint John, Dream League Co-Founders Donna Danto and Steve Schoppa. (Bottom L-R)  Dream League Players and 'Angels in the Outfield' Volunteers Taylor Schoppa, Kyle Krueger, Lexi Villareal, Jack Krueger, Ross Brown and Chet Danto.

Grand Slam for Youth Baseball Field Refurbishment Program
Dream League/First Colony Little League Field #1 Named 2009 Recipient

Members of the First Colony Little League (FCLL) Dream League took the field at Minute Maid Park prior to the Astros game Friday evening to be recognized as the recipient of the 2009 Grand Slam for Youth Baseball (GSFYB) annual ballpark refurbishment program. Dream League players shared the spotlight with representatives from the Houston Astros, Minute Maid, First Colony Little League and the City of Sugar Land.
MMGSFYB, a partnership between Minute Maid and the Houston Astros, is committed to renovating one youth baseball/softball field every year over the next two decades. This year, the organization chose the Dream League, a unique league that enables children with physical and/or mental disabilities to play baseball, as the lucky recipient. Through this program, Field 1 at the FCLL baseball complex in Sugar Land, will be updated and reconfigured in order to make it more accessible to the special needs of these players.
“Traditionally, we have chosen more disadvantaged fields that are typically in much worse shape,” said Mike Saint John, Sr. VP, Coca-Cola North America and General Manager, Minute Maid Business Unit. “However, this year we decided to reconfigure, not refurbish, so these special kids could have the opportunity to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in a safe, easily-accessible environment.  And, since we will be relocating our Minute Maid Headquarters to Sugar Land Town Square in February ‘09, this project will be an excellent launch for our community efforts in Ft. Bend County. ”
Introduced in Spring 2006, the Dream League roster is approximately 60 physically- and/or mentally- challenged players. In addition, the league has an “Angels in the Outfield” program, where approximately 150 teenage boys and girls from Ft. Bend area schools volunteer to assist Dream League players during the game, becoming a loyal buddy in the process.  The League depends heavily on volunteers from the community to fill such positions as board members, managers, coaches, umpires, etc.
“We are excited that Minute Maid and the Astros chose the Dream League as the recipient for this year’s MMGSFYB program,” said Steve Schoppa, board member and co-founder of the Dream League. “Making the field more accessible and safer for these players will only enhance their baseball experience. These improvements will not only promote our league’s growth, but will also establish our field as a destination for tournament play with other Dream Leagues/Challenger Leagues in the greater Houston area.”
The FCLL baseball complex is located in First Colony Park, located at 3232 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land.
“We are proud to support this generous effort by Minute Maid and hope that this handicap-accessible model will serve as the standard for all future baseball fields built in Sugar Land,” said Jim Browne, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sugar Land.

About First Colony Dream League

The Dream League is a division of First Colony Little League (FCLL) and was established in Fall 2006. The FCLL Board of Directors, along with several parents, The Fort Bend Independent School District and The ARC of Fort Bend initiated the Dream League to enable children with physical and/or mental disabilities from all over Ft. Bend County a chance to enjoy the game of baseball. For more information, visit www.fcdreamleague.com.
2003 Project
Settegast Park

2004 Project
Northeast
Family YMCA

2005 Project
Bobby Beach Memorial Stadium

2006 Project
St. Monica 1

St. Monica 2

2007 Project
B&G Club
Havard Field

2008 Project
Alief Youth Association

2009 Project
Dream League

2010 Project
Columbo Field
Buccaneer Field

2011 Project
Jimmy Wynn
Training Center
Dedication

Dedication 2