Nationals’ donation will benefit Viera baseball/softball programs


Members of the Viera High baseball team pose with members of the Washington Nationals — including general manager Mike Rizzo (left, red jacket) — during a check presentation Wednesday night at Space Coast Stadium.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy Bob Doty

Viera High’s baseball and softball programs got some big help from the Washington Nationals this week.

The Nationals presented members of the Hawks’ baseball team with a check for $10,000 prior to Wednesday night’s spring training game against the New York Yankees at Space Coast Stadium.

The money will go toward building a new on-campus hitting/pitching facility for Viera’s baseball and softball programs. It is expected to be completed in the fall and will be used for practice, camps and clinics.

“Without the donation from the Washington Nationals we would not be able to make this longtime dream come true,” Viera baseball coach Bob Doty wrote in an email. “We are certainly going to miss the Nationals in Viera and would like to thank both the Nationals and the Manatees for allowing us to use their facilities for games and practice over the years.

“There is nothing like professional baseball in your own backyard. It is sad to see them go but we have awesome baseball memories that will stay with us the rest of our lives.”

Viera softball coach Dale Pierce was also pleased.

“We are so thankful for the donation,” he wrote in an email. “Having this on campus will be great; hopefully a major step toward a baseball softball facility on campus.”