The Albany Dutchmen were active in the Albany community.
The Albany Dutchmen did much more than just play the game of baseball during their time in the Capital Region. Dutchmen players volunteered their time at numerous locations across the area. Throughout the summer, the Dutchmen volunteered over 700 hours of their time at local children’s programs, food banks, shelters, Strides 4 STRIDE, local little leagues, cleanup projects, free baseball clinics and much more.
The Dutchmen hosted baseball camps throughout the summer. The first camp was the Guilderland Little League Clinic. Six other camps were held at Bellizzi Field, three of which were sponsored by CDTA. At the camps, kids were able to learn the basic skills of baseball, which included fielding, throwing, catching, and hitting. The kids were not only able to interact with the players on the team but also the coaches, including Head Coach Nick Davey.The Dutchmen players also traveled to the Jaime M. Adams Field, to work with the Challenger Little League, a league that provides a full-service athletic home for the Capital Region’s special needs athletes. Here, the players worked with special needs athletes of all ages, giving them basic instruction on fielding, catching and throwing.
Dutchmen players also volunteered their time at Trinity Alliance, an organization that servivces over 10,000 City of Albany residents in need annually, several times a week in the final month of the season. There, players would spend time with local kids that attend summer programs, playing games, reading books, and helping staff otheractivities.
Some players also helped out at Hope 7 Community Center in Troy. Dutchmen players spent time playing multiple games with the children at the Community Center and gave a helping hand in re-stocking the food pantry that helps over 150 families in the community. The Dutchmen also visited the Regional Food Bank, where players helped by boxing up water that is eventually shipped out to the local community.
Dutchmen players also volunteered at St. Paul’s Center, the Ronald McDonald House, and assisted in the cleanup of Delaware Avenue. St. Paul’s is a homeless shelter for women and their children, where players helped cook breakfast and then supervised homemade games as the children and their mothers played to win tickets for prizes.
At the Ronald McDonald House (a home away from home for sick children and their families), the players interacted with the kids, taking pictures and signing autographs for them. The players were also put to work scraping floors of the new house being built. On Delaware Avenue, the players spent time working with the neighborhood association, weeding and mulching to beautify the area. The same landscaping projects were completed at areas in and surrounding Plumeri Sports Complex and Hoffman Park. The Dutchmen partnered with Scott's on both of the projects, who donated over 50 bags of mulch and other lawn products.
The Dutchmen also contributed their time at the Head Start program at Cheryl’s Lodge, a summer program for kids in need. The players spoke with the children at the Lodge about their baseball careers and the importance of education. They also spent time playing wiffleball and doing arts and crafts with the children.
In June, the Dutchmen contributed their time to the Soap Box Derby held in Albany and Strides for STIDE 5K run/walk.
During the Soap Box Derby, the players helped youth racers move their cars from the track and changed the wheels. The Strides 4 STRIDE 5K run/walk is done to raise money for STRIDE Adaptive Sports, which is a “volunteer, non-profit organization that provide over 8,000 adaptive sport and recreation lessons to individuals with disabilities”. At the event, the Dutchmen players contributed by handing out water, preparing bananas and oranges for the runners, and encouraging and cheering on the participants at the start and finish line.
The Dutchmen’s community service efforts also extended to Bellizzi Field, as the team held multiple game day events to benefit community not for profit organizations. On June 29th, the Dutchmen hosted the MVP for MDA Softball Tournament and a huge raffle to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Derek Murphy, a 13-year-old afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The tournament and raffle raised $3,180, bringing the 5-year fundraising total of the event to over $12,000. The team also held their fourth annual Pink Game, as the Dutchmen donned pink jerseys on July 18th against Glens Falls. The jerseys were auctioned off, and the team held a raffle, with the proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Cancer Society. In the final week of the season, the Dutchmen hosted Maddie’s Mark Night, benefiting a local organization that provides “Best Days Ever” to children suffering from major illness. The night featured a concert from local country star Chelsea Cavanaugh, a raffle to benefit Maddie’s Mark, and the opportunity to donate to the organization and write chalk messages at the ballpark.
The Dutchmen season went far beyond the ballpark, as the Dutchmen players were able to make an impact on the Albany community.