In support of the ongoing commitment from Major League Baseball, its clubs and the players to increase opportunities for youth participation in baseball and softball, the Chicago Cubs are teaming up with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) to host an equipment collection drive, Saturday, August 11, before the 3:05 p.m. CDT Cubs game against the Reds.

Fans are invited to donate new and used equipment at specially-marked tables on Clark Street between Addison Street and Waveland Avenue, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. Donations will benefit the B.I.G. Baseball Academy and Unity Community Development Corporation.

In conjunction with the equipment drive, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will award the B.I.G. Baseball Academy and Unity Community Development Corporation a $2,500 grant for the purchase of new equipment. The grant will be given in the name of Anthony Rizzo in honor of his commitment to youth baseball and softball. In recognition of the grant, Meghan Chisholm, Senior Grant Coordinator of Baseball Tomorrow Fund, and Rizzo will present a ceremonial check to both organizations during a pregame ceremony the following game Sunday, August 12.

This year marks the eighth season the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has teamed with Major League Baseball Clubs to supplement their existing equipment collection programs and to help facilitate the creation of new programs.

Last year, over 15,000 pieces of equipment and over $300,000 in monetary contributions were donated to youth baseball and softball organizations in Major League markets in conjunction with the Equipment Day initiative.  To date, nearly 100,000 pieces of equipment and approximately $1,250,000 in cash donations have benefited organizations in need.

“As we celebrate the eighth season of the initiative, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund would like to thank all of the Clubs, players and fans that have contributed to its success” says Cathy Bradley, executive director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.  “Every single contribution helped grow baseball and softball in our communities and we look forward to greater success in 2012 and beyond.”