KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Baseball has come back to the inner city.
The Royals $20 million urban youth academy is now officially open. The indoor facility is spacious, well lit, and has batting cages along with an indoor field. There are four ball fields outside.
This was the dream of Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who wanted to expose baseball to children living in the inner-city. There are not a lot of fields in the urban core and a lot of families cannot afford to buy baseball equipment, so everything at the Academy is free for the kids to use.
The Royals will supply everything.
"We are being supplied with equipment just like a minor-league facility would be," Urban Youth Academy Director Darwin Pennye said. "We have access to information, the way we teach here will come right out of the Royals hand book to what they will share with minor-league players which is the Royal way."
They are already hosting free clinics at the facility and will begin league play for boys and girls ages 6-18 in the fall.
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