FTBNL co-founders Paul & Theo Epstein Award a $150,000 grant for Chicago Expansion of
Critically Acclaimed Urban Baseball Program focused on Youth Mentoring and Training
CHICAGO – Foundation To Be Named Later co-founders Paul and Theo Epstein gathered with Chicago business and community leaders for a special Wrigley Field ceremony to launch the Chicago expansion of The BASE, a program that combines baseball, academics and mentoring to transform the lives of urban youth. Notable baseball luminaries included Hall of Fame sportswriter Peter Gammons and representatives of Chicago’s Garfield Park Baseball Program Frank Brim and Malik Seaton who were joined by The BASE Founder Robert Lewis Jr. for the special announcement.
Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and his brother Paul Epstein, a social worker, funded the program’s expansion to Chicago with a $150,000 grant from The Foundation To Be Named Later, a nonprofit organization they launched in 2005 to raise funds and awareness for nonprofit agencies, working on the front lines, serving youth and families from disadvantaged neighborhoods in Boston and Chicago.
“We’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand the results BASE has delivered and the impact the program has had on the lives of students through our annual Urban Classic, and the work they do both on and off the field is impressive,” said FTBNL co-founder Paul Epstein. “Partnering with results driven organizations that have a proven track record of making a tangible difference in the lives of youth in our cities is precisely what we had in mind when we launched the foundation, so helping to extend The BASE program to student athletes in Chicago is perfectly aligned with our mission.”
The BASE is a premier national urban youth training academy that provides student athletes in Boston with year-round, superior baseball and academic training. The program leverages the power and passion of sports to transform the lives of urban youth by providing opportunity, education, training and encouragement to create a winning game plan for life and reach their fullest potential.
Since its inception, the program has served more than 8,000 boys and girls on more than 600 teams, playing not just at home in Boston, but in tournaments across the country — from Florida to Nevada and in between. Hall of Fame sportswriter Peter Gammons called The BASE Astros “hands down, the best urban baseball team in America.”
“The BASE aims to shift the national mindset about what it takes for urban youth to succeed and to build a movement of citizens who are committed to their success,” said The BASE Founder and President Robert Lewis Jr. “Through high quality baseball, academics, and training, we operate a premier national urban youth training academy with a methodology that cultivates excellence, belief and love. We are making the invisible, visible and shining a spotlight on the limitless potential of our young people.”
With the grant in hand, The BASE, which began in Boston will expand their program to Chicago’s greater West Side, leveraging the power and passion of sports to transform the lives of urban youth through a focus on baseball, academics and mentoring. For the past six (6) years FTBNL has collaborated with The BASE and created the Urban Classic baseball game, which brings together elite youth urban Boston and
Chicago teams at the University of Illinois Chicago Curtis Granderson Field. The Urban Classic baseball game has become a staple of FTBNL’s Chicago’s Hot Stove Cool Music weekend, celebrating music, baseball and giving back. The official opening of The Base Chicago will take place at the Foundation To Be Named Later’s annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago weekend, June 8-9, 2018.
The Foundation To Be Named Later raises funds and awareness for local nonprofits that work with youth in Chicago and Boston from disadvantaged neighborhoods. FTBNL raises funds through fun and unique events that focus on baseball and music, two of Paul and Theo’s passions. FTBNL has raised more than $9 million for Boston and Chicago nonprofit organizations since 2005.
In addition to the $150,000 grant from Foundation To Be Named Later, Good Sports has announced a $50,000 equipment donation to The BASE Chicago after officials were able to determine immediate equipment needs for 2018. Toby Emms, Chicago Market Director for Good Sports was on hand to make the special announcement.
With a 7,100 square-foot training and studying facility in Boston, The BASE continues to achieve its goal of becoming a nationally recognized and certified training academy, combining sports and academic opportunities to transform the lives of African-American and Latino boys and girls throughout the country. Thanks to this grant and the donation from Good Sports, student athletes in Chicago will benefit from The BASE program.
The BASE Astros also were named “2013 Triple Crown Sports’ US Baseball Champions,” and “2012 Team of The Year”- standing alone among 40,000 other teams across the country. Six former BASE – and Astros – student athletes have competed at the Major League Baseball level: Manny Delcarmen (Boston Red Sox), Juan Carlos Portes (Minnesota Twins), Nelfi Zapata (New York Mets), Eddy Morrobel (Texas Rangers), Jamill Moquete (Baltimore Orioles) and Calvin Graves (Chicago Cubs). Since 2014, more than 130 BASE school athletes have matriculated to college.
About Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL)
Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL) was launched in 2005 by brothers Paul Epstein to raise funds and awareness for nonprofit agencies, working on the front lines, serving youth and families from disadvantaged neighborhoods in Boston & Chicago. FTBNL invests in programs that teach leadership, education and healthy development of families. Since inception, FTBNL has raised over $9 million and donated grants, scholarships, and in-kind donations to 301 non-profit organizations, sent 80 Peter Gammons Scholars to college and has allowed approximately 6,500 children to Cubs and Red Sox games. The Peter Gammons/FTBNL College Scholarship is the signature program of FTBNL and has sent 80 young people with high financial needs and high educational potential to the college of their choice. Each Gammons Scholar also gets an adult mentor and a laptop computer to ensure college success. For more information on Foundation To Be Named Later programs and events, or to make a donation, please visit www.foundationtobenamedlater.org.
About the BASE
The BASE uses the power and passion of sports to transform the lives of urban youth by providing opportunity, education, training, and encouragement to create a winning game plan for life and reach their fullest potential. With a 7,100 square-foot training and studying facility, The BASE continues to achieve its goal of becoming a nationally-recognized and certified training academy, combining sports and academic opportunities to transform the lives of African-American and Latino boys and girls throughout the country. For more information, visit www.thebase.org.
Keith Gainsboro, Elevate