Phillies, City Unveil New Ryan Howard Youth Baseball Facility
The City, along with the Phillies and Major League Baseball, unveiled the new Ryan Howard Training Center at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center in South Philadelphia Thursday. The 7,500 square foot training center was added to the existing recreation center, and is state of the art.
“This is what our children deserve, this is what our children are meant to experience,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, who added that growing up, he didn’t have these kinds of facilities.
The training center at the Phillies MLB Youth Academy will be used by more than 8,000 Phillies RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) players. It has four retractable batting cages (just like the ones the pros use when they’re training), and the young players will have access to fitness training.
Additionally, the center will provide access to educational and vocational programs. Mentors in the programs will include former and current MLB players, scouts, coaches, and many others.
Ryan Howard, who was on hand for the unveiling along with his wife Krystle, said that he knows the value of such facilities first hand.
“We decided to be a part of this academy because I wanted these students, these athletes to be able to know that I believe in them. Why? Because I was just like them,” said Howard.
The facility is part of the Phillies MLB Youth Academy, which is the only multi-site one in the country. In addition to this new facility, the academy consists of an outdoor location at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park in South Philly. That location opened this past June and has two baseball fields and two softball fields.
The MLB Youth Academy has served more than 20,000 youth throughout the country. More than 500 of those athletes have gone on to play at college, and nearly 160 alumni have been drafted in the First-Year Player Draft.