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YMCA in process of adding baseball

CHANGING HANDS: Joe T. Doan Field and the middle school-aged baseball program that it hosts will be transfered from Frankfort Baseball Inc. to the Clinton County Family YMCA pending approval by the Clinton County Commissioners.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

The Clinton County Family YMCA is in the process of acquiring all the assets of Frankfort Baseball Inc. pending approval of a lease agreement by the Clinton County Commissioners. If that agreement is approved by the county commissioners – the field is on county property in TPA Park – the YMCA will take control of the the current baseball program for middle school-aged players.

“Our board and the board of Frankfort Baseball Inc. which is also known as Rotary baseball in the community, have agreed to transfer assets of Frankfort Baseball Inc. to the YMCA,” said Tristen Comegys, CEO of the Clinton County Family YMCA. “We do have one final step to go through. The property that the assets are on in TPA Park is owned by the County Farm. So, the commissioners and their attorney are in the process of working up a lease agreement for us, and this is pending the approval of that lease agreement. So, we will acquire their assets and take over their middle school program, as well as then being able to utilize that field for our programs and program expansion.”

Frankfort Baseball Inc. board member Paul Cox says that the board of directors had been thinking about transitioning the field and its assets to another 501(c)(3) for years.

“A lot of our board members are retired, and we know that there needed to be something next,” Cox said. “So, just in a casual conversation with Tristen, (the YMCA) found out. They got excited about the opportunity right away, especially about the baseball program, our field and our resources.

“We transfer all the assets of Frankfort baseball, and all the improvements on the field at TPA Park,” Cox continued. “It gives them a good opportunity to not only embrace the middle school program but to also work with younger kids. They even talked about adult kickball and maybe, at some point in time, making it a multipurpose field.”

Cox says that transferring Frankfort Baseball to the YMCA makes “perfect sense.”

“It is a great asset that was built in the '60s largely by the Frankfort Rotary Club,” he said. “So our board serves as the vehicle for Rotary to support baseball.

“We are excited about it,” Cox added. “It makes perfect sense to hand it off to somebody who can keep the stability that we have built there. When Tristen and the YMCA board found out, they embraced the opportunity with the kind of enthusiasm that we wanted somebody to have. It is a good deal. We are delighted, and I think they are too.”

The addition of baseball bolsters an already growing list of youth sports programs offered by the YMCA.

“Over the last year since I have been here, we have seen our youth sports programs grow by over 100 percent,” Comegys said. “That is for a wide variety of reasons, one being us hiring a staff person who is dedicated to growing those programs (program director Amanda Harness), as well as our partnership with the Center Township Trustee through 'Aspire at the Y.'”

The Aspire at the Y program allows kids who live Center Township to participate in the Y's many sports programs for free.

“For the first year, the leadership of Frankfort Baseball Inc. will help guide us in how they have done things in the past,” Comegys said. “We will handle registration of the program very similarly to how Frankfort Baseball did. But, people can also come to the Y and register as well.”