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Aug 7, 2017 2:17 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Play At The Plate, Cleats 4 Kids Host Annual Charity Baseball Game In Hampton Bays

The Dominican Republic baseball team smiles with Scott Green after dinner at McDonald's on Thursday, August 3.  SCOTT GREEN SCOTT GREEN
Aug 7, 2017 2:59 PM

Last week, Hampton Bays native Scott Green turned Red Creek Park into his own rendition of the Field of Dreams for several young baseball players.

Green and his company, Play At The Plate, teamed up with Cleats 4 Kids to host a group of ballplayers, age 12 and under, from the Dominican Republic to play a local Little League All-Star team from Hampton Bays at Red Creek Park on Thursday, August 3.

For more than a decade, Play at the Plate has hosted tournaments for adult recreational baseball players at Major League ballparks, spring training venues, Triple-A stadiums and other ballparks across America. The average age of most participants is 45, and men can bring their sons with them if they are 15 or older.

Green began his affiliation with Cleats 4 Kids—a charity that donates used and unwanted baseball gear to underprivileged children from the Dominican Republic—after his first donation of forest green catcher’s gear and old baseballs a decade ago. After seeing a photo of a Dominican boy wearing the gear with a grin from ear to ear in The Southampton Press, Green never looked back.

Now working alongside Cleats 4 Kids founder Matt Rodriguez, an Oyster Bay resident, both have turned small donations into an annual event. The day began with the Hampton Bays All-Stars facing the Dominican Republic team for the first of two baseball games. In between games, the boys, parents, families and friends of both teams all ate pizza together. The teams then mixed with one another to make two different teams for the second game. The organizers of the games decided not to keep score, choosing to focus on the camaraderie and fun aspect of the games. After the games concluded the teams traveled to Meschutt Beach in Hampton Bays for ice cream and to enjoy the remainder of the day.

The day was completed at McDonald’s before the boys of the Dominican Republic gathered on the bus to head back to Ronkonkoma train station where they returned to Jamaica, Queens.

“Our village leaders knew what this event was about and stepped up to the plate and contributed wholeheartedly and generously,” Green said of the successful turnout. “I am proud of them and the community in whole.”

Some of the contributors who made the day flow effortlessly were Skidmore’s Sports & Styles in Hampton Bays, The Hampton Hopper, Hampton Graphics, Scotto’s Pork Store, Pooltastic, Shinnecock Hardware, Hampton Bays 7-Eleven, Monika Straka, Ed Moore and many more.

According to Green, next year Cleats 4 Kids and Play at the Plate want to make this charity game a two-day event by expanding the format and making it a multiple-team event, with the hope of one day making it into a tournament.

“The kids loved it and so did the parents of both teams,” he said.

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