Baltimore Urban Baseball Association Opening a 20,000 Sq. Ft. Facility in PIgtown

| March 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

Baltimore Urban Baseball Association (BUBA) now has a home as it signed a lease with Greenspring Realty Partners, Inc. (GRP) for 20,000 sq. ft. of space at 1205 S. Carey Street in the Pigtown. BUBA plans to use a portion of the two-building complex, which was formerly a warehouse for Littlepage’s Furniture, as the headquarters for BUBA. It will eventually use a second section of the space as a collaborative to serve the needs of other youth-based nonprofits in the city.

Greenspring Realty Partners acquired the one-story buildings in 2018. Both buildings also front the 1200 block of Ward St.

BUBA was started in 2016 by South Baltimore resident Andy Weltlinger. He describes the nonprofit organization as “just a bunch of baseball-loving guys in the neighborhood interested in positively impacting the lives of youth in Baltimore City.” BUBA currently works with more than 350 Baltimore City youth.

Wetlinger works by day as an investment portfolio manage for Merrill Lynch.

BUBA plans to utilize one section of the building to house its baseball academy, complete with batting cages, fitness equipment, classrooms, and administrative space. It hopes to open in May.

The group has the long-term vision to transform the second space into a non-profit collaborative that offers vocational support, career training, and other programs targeting youth in need in Baltimore City. BUBA envisions “five to six different groups” operating within this space and is seeking a major corporate sponsor to fund this initiative.

BUBA plans to spruce up the outside of the building with the help of one of its volunteers Mark Melonas, who is an artist, fabricator, and designer. Melonas will come up with a plan to display BUBA’s logo and Pigtown’s logo on the front of the building. BUBA will also take advantage of Baltimore Development Corporation’s facade grants that match up to $7,500.

“We are extremely passionate about the sport of baseball and believe it the perfect vehicle to help disadvantaged youth in Baltimore City in numerous ways both on and off the field,” said Weltlinger in a press release. “Baseball has a tremendous history in the city including the Baltimore Elite Giants that played in the Negro League. The programs we offer to area youth would cost between $3000 and $5000 annually if we charged for them, but they are completely free. We believe sports is a great equalizer and cuts through all aspects of society including race, class and social standing.”

“There is currently no junior varsity baseball teams in Baltimore City,” Weltlinger said. “While we applaud their efforts, many of the coaches on the varsity level have backgrounds in other sports and are filling a need where they may not be the best candidate. Our more than 30 volunteer coaches are young and extremely passionate about baseball. We have been able to connect with local kids on their level and show the opportunities they have before them.”

“We combine expert instruction with state-of-the art technology including a Hit Trax system that records, ranks and evaluates batting swings. In fact, with every swing taken, a player can immediately see where they stand as compared to every other individual in the United States. It is part video game and part golf simulator,” Weltlinger added.

“We see tremendous similarities with Baltimore Collaborative Warehouse which was contained within 1790 Union Avenue, a building we owned for several years and currently contains the Maryland Book Bank, ShareBaby and Bedtime in a Box,” said Dan Flamholz, principal and co-founder of Greenspring Realty Partners, in a press release. “We believe connecting this extremely important and needed mission to sports will resonate among the youth they are targeting as well as the businesses looking to support this effort and further this idea. The more companies that get behind them, the easier it will be to launch and sustain these programs.”

Photo courtesy of BUBA 

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