July 18, 2016
On Thursday, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney will be among the dignitaries on hand when the Phillies' new MLB Urban Youth Academy Indoor Training Center opens its doors at 17th and Fitzwater.
The new 7,500-square foot training center was added to the Marian Anderson Recreation Center this winter and includes four professional-style batting cages and spaces for fitness training and educational and vocational programs, according to a press release from Major League Baseball.
Howard and his wife, Krystle, have supported the foundation of the academy through the former MVP’s organization, The Ryan Howard Big Piece Foundation. Although the official unveiling of the facility will be announced on Thursday, Philly.com reported two months ago that the building will be called “The Ryan Howard Training Center.”
The indoor training center will be used by more than 8,000 youth that currently take part in the Phillies RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program.
Other Phillies representatives scheduled to take place in Thursday’s grand opening include chairman David Montgomery, former broadcaster and outfielder Gary Matthews, public address announcer Dan Baker, and the Phillie Phanatic.