Ribbon-cutting for Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy to take place Tuesday

Globe Life Training Center and Oates Field presented by Papa John's to be unveiled at event.

December 15th, 2017

Youth baseball and softball in North Texas will celebrate an historic milestone next Tuesday, December 19 with the Official Ribbon-Cutting of the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex presented by Toyota in West Dallas.

The Rangers, Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Dallas-based Mercy St. have partnered to build the new state-of-the-art facility, which provides free (or reduced cost) and year-round opportunities for North Texas youth, on the 17- acre site at the intersection of Hampton and Bickers.

The facility will become MLB's eighth Youth Academy to be completely open with three others in development. Tuesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony coincides with the opening of the final two facilities at the Youth Academy, Globe Life Training Center and the Oates Field presented by Papa John's.

The ceremony will begin at 12 noon and will take place in the plaza area in front of the Globe Life Training Center. Participants will include officials from the Rangers, Major League Baseball, Dallas Housing Authority, and Mercy Street as well as major sponsors Toyota, Globe Life, Papa John's, and the Power 2 Change Foundation.

A number of Rangers players and executives are also expected to attend.

The Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex presented by Toyota includes five fields and the Globe Life Training Center. In addition to the Oates Field, the Clayton Kershaw Challenge Field, Josh "Hambone" Hamilton Field, Field of Dreams, and the Mimi's T-Ball Field on the south side of the facility are already opened and are being utilized for games and clinics.

The Globe Life Training Center is nearly 39,000 square feet and the indoor facility houses Adrian Beltre Field, which is a major league size infield; the Ian Desmond training room; Origin Bank Conference Room, four classrooms supported by the Hamels Foundation; weight room facilities, Academy staff offices, and a concession stand.

Oates Field presented by Papa John's has been completely renovated into a regulation size diamond with grandstand seating for nearly 750, a press box, and new field lighting. It will serve as the home field for both Pinkston and Sunset High Schools beginning this spring and will be the site of numerous local and national youth tournaments. The Oates Field facilities also include the Prince Fielder batting cages. 

The Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy is available to children throughout North Texas, especially the more than 9,000 kids who live within the West Dallas neighborhood and youth from the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. In addition to providing year-round baseball and softball instruction and play, including hosting tournaments, coaching clinics and skills camps, the Academy will provide youth with access to tutoring programs, college prep classes, college and career fairs, financial literacy and internship programs, courses teaching math through the use of baseball statistics, and MLB industry alternative career workshops.

Youth also have opportunities to be involved in drug resistance and gang-prevention programs and healthy lifestyle classes. Additionally, all Academy members and other community youth benefit from Academy facilities and programs through baseball vocational programming, such as umpiring seminars, athletic field management, scouting and player development, sports information training, and athletic sports training.

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation employs staff to oversee the Academy, and works with Mercy Street and their existing programming. The operations of the Academy are covered entirely by the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, which also will provide equipment, supplies, utilities and other operating costs.

Current and former Rangers players Adrian Beltre, Ian Desmond, Prince Fielder, Cole Hamels, Josh Hamilton, Jeremy Jeffress, Martin Perez, and Tyson Ross as well as Rangers Hall of Famer Michael Young have all made financial donations for construction and programs at the Youth Academy. 

The Youth Academy was designed by Sterling Barnett Little, Inc. of Arlington with Dallas-based Skiles Group serving as the general contractor. Paragon Turf Technologies of Phoenix, Arizona installed the turf facilities.

More information on the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex presented by Toyota can be found on the Texas Rangers Foundation page at texasrangers.com.