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Urban Youth Academy opens, baseball commissioner cuts ribbon

ROSELAWN, Ohio (Joe Webb) -- A Cincinnati park has been transformed into a state-of-the-art baseball academy for local children.

The $7 million complex opened Friday, August 22nd, 2014, in Roselawn.  What used to be just another city park has been transformed into Major League Baseball's 7th Youth Academy.  The money helped renovate four baseball diamonds.  Two now serve as the home fields for Walnut Hills and Purcell-Marian High Schools' teams. 
     
The 33,000 square foot indoor training facility is home to a full-size diamond, classrooms and batting cages.  Spencer Person and Joshua Cook will train there as part of the Reds RBI Academy.
 
"We have players from the Reds who come in and talk to us.  UC baseball team comes in.  Very special, it's an honor," Spencer said.  "Some people didn't have this chance to do this so it's a good thing."

A who's who of Reds baseball was on hand for Wednesday's ribbon cutting ceremony.  Stars from the current team and stars from previous years like Frank Robinson were there.  Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said the academy was in a great place because of Cincinnati's place in the history of the game.
       
Former Cincinnati Reds player, Ron Oester, said, "The younger you learn the game, the fundamentals of the game, the easier it's going to be for you. To have something like this and the people involved in it, it means so much not only for the kids but the community and everyone else."

The Urban Youth Academy will open year-round but people can come get a good look Wednesday, August 22.  It will be open to the public from 6p.m.-10p.m.

Commissioner Selig did not talk about Pete Rose.  Mayor John Cranley said he did pull the commissioner aside and lobby for allowing Rose into the Hall of Fame.


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