Max and Erica Scherzer extend philanthropic impact in the region with additional contributions
For Immediate Release, Tuesday, August 10, 2021 — Today, Washington Nationals Philanthropies announced that development has begun on the organization’s fourth Legacy Field carrying the name of a current or former Washington Nationals player. The project, supported in part through financial contributions from Max and Erica Scherzer, is located in a community hub in the Ward 8 neighborhood of Washington Highlands. It will serve as one piece of a redevelopment project that will transform the Ferebee-Hope site into a multi-use education and recreation complex that will feature a new high school, indoor recreation center, and extensive outdoor spaces including a baseball diamond, football field, basketball court, community garden, and playground. The 66,500 square-foot field, scheduled to open in spring 2022, will feature a turf surface for year-round durability and adjustable bases allowing for 60-foot, 70-foot, and 90-foot base path configurations.
“Kids should have access to not only a great education but also the chance to play as many sports as possible,” longtime Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer said during a visit to the site earlier this summer. “Having a baseball field alongside a basketball court and football field is exactly what I would have wanted as a kid. We are proud to support a project that brings all of these opportunities together in one place.”
KIPP DC, a local network of charter schools, is revitalizing the community hub to bring new energy and opportunity to the Washington Highlands neighborhood in the heart of Ward 8. The new field, managed by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation and developed by MCN Build, will ensure neighborhood residents and KIPP DC students have access to the opportunity to play ball in a safe space to develop and deepen their love for the sport of baseball.
“The field sits atop a hill that residents can see from any vantage point, making this site the crown jewel in the community. When the lights go on, residents will know there is baseball happening and be drawn to it,” said Jacque Patterson, Chief Community Engagement & Growth Officer of KIPP DC.
The Legacy Field will be home to a variety of baseball programs, including introductory clinics and competitive play run by the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the signature program of Washington Nationals Philanthropies. These programs offer the chance to foster the development of strong character through the invaluable lessons provided by high-quality coaches and mentors. The site will also feature a baseball-inspired art installation to honor, highlight, and celebrate the historical impact of African Americans on the game of baseball, especially in Washington, D.C.
"DPR is extremely grateful to the Scherzer Family and proud to partner with the Washington Nationals in bringing this new baseball field to the Ward 8 Community,” DPR Director Delano Hunter stated. “We recognize the power of partnership and know that without great partners like the Nationals and the Scherzers, we could not deliver all that our communities deserve – including excellent facilities like this baseball field. We are confident that this field will become a space for our emerging athletes to develop their skills and for our communities to deepen their love for baseball."
Other Legacy Fields include Bryce Harper Field, located in NW Washington at Takoma Community Center, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Field, located in Annandale, VA at Mason District Park, and Ryan Zimmerman Field, located a few blocks from Nationals Park at Randall Recreation Center. A fact sheet detailing the new field and other Legacy Field information is available online.
A Legacy of Giving
Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, have a long history of philanthropic investment in the D.C. region. Since 2015, the Scherzers are the largest individual donors (on a cash basis) to Washington Nationals Philanthropies. In addition to the investment in the Legacy Field, their contributions have supported baseball and softball programming at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, rapid relief initiatives to bring resources to the community during a time of crisis, and joint-fundraising campaigns to support animal care and rescue. Max Scherzer also served as the face for many years of the Fantasy Football Showdown fundraiser benefiting the Academy.
“Max and Erica Scherzer are some of the most authentic people I have come across in many years of doing sports philanthropy,” said Tal Alter, CEO of Washington Nationals Philanthropies. “Their unrivaled generosity sparks involvement and engagement from others while lifting up worthy partners in the region doing important work on-the-ground to provide programs and services for residents of the region. And as a surprise to fans, they aren’t done yet!”
A competitor through and through, Scherzer is now issuing one more challenge to fans – inviting them to raise as much money as possible to support the community impact work of Nationals Philanthropies. The Scherzers have gifted another $100,000 to the organization to kick-off the fundraising. Fans can show the heart of champions and thank the Scherzers for their commitment to the community by making a donation today.
About Washington Nationals Philanthropies
Washington Nationals Philanthropies, the official charitable arm of the Washington Nationals, champions opportunities for all residents of the Greater Washington region to thrive by inspiring investment in the community. Nationals Philanthropies replaces the Dream Foundation while maintaining the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy as its signature program. Building on the success of the foundation’s first decade in Washington, Nationals Philanthropies pursues an ambitious philanthropic vision that catalyzes the energy of Nationals fans, players, corporate champions, and partners to invest philanthropic dollars in community-based programs that address the disparity of opportunity for residents of the region across a variety of needs. Learn more at nats4good.org.
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