02/13/2014 12:00 PM
YAKIMA, Wash.-With the inaugural Yakima Valley Pippins campaign approaching quickly, one of the big steps in the development of the team is finding safe housing for the 25-30 players that will turn Yakima County Stadium back into a baseball hotbed. The Pippins are seeking host families for players for the 2014 season and are now accepting applications.
“Host families are a vital part to integrating these young men into our community,” said Noel Zanchelli, director of operations for the Pippins. “Having a safe home, a second family, to share this experience with is important to their success and will extend another opportunity to share the quality of life that is found in the Valley.”
Host families provide room and board to players on the roster, without financial compensation. Players must have access to a room not shared with other family members (they can share rooms, but not beds, with teammates), ability to have access to a bathroom, food and other amenities common in a family setting. Host families do not have to provide access to a car (although can if they choose to), and are encouraged to invite the players to engage as if they were part of the family.
While no financial compensation is provided, the Pippins recognize the sacrifice that many families will make to add a college-aged young man to their family life. In order to best thank these families, the Pippins will provide season tickets for each member of the household, a free parking pass to all Pippins home games, an in-season party event and a standing 15% off team merchandise during the season.
“I have been telling our players what a great and inviting community we have here in Yakima, and they are incredibly excited for that,” said Pippins skipper Marcus McKimmy, who grew up in Selah. “Our host families will be ambassadors of not only the team but of our community and I am grateful for those who volunteer their time and their homes.”
Pippins partner Jeff Cirillo, who played 14 years in Major League Baseball and was a 2-time All-Star, remembers fondly his time with host families as he played summer collegiate baseball while at USC.
“They are lifelong friends,” said Cirillo. “Between summer collegiate baseball and my time in the minor leagues, I became close to the families that eased a major concern of mine as I was pursuing an opportunity to play Major League Baseball.”
Many in the community have expressed interest in being a host family. If you would like to learn more, or would like an application, please email Noel Zanchelli at email@example.com.
The Yakima Valley Pippins will begin their quest for a WCL Championship at Yakima County Stadium on June 6th, 2014 at 7:05 P.M. against East Division rival Wenatchee AppleSox. Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 season, including full-season and partial-season packages, as well as select team merchandise. Those interested in being part of something great from the start are asked to contact Noel Zanchelli at 206.271.7820 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach the Pippins offices at 509-575-8304.The team store, stadium improvements and other fan-friendly amenity projects will begin in early spring 2014.