The scene is something atypical of a Major League Baseball game. To support breast cancer awareness, the players are all decked out in pink-accented jerseys, stirrups and caps. But this is not a Major League game. The players are part of 6-4-3 DP Athletics, a group of young athletes who wear the symbolic color of hope and inspiration like a badge of honor.
For the fourth consecutive Mother’s Day, 6-4-3 has partnered with the City of Marietta to help lead the charge on the cause, spearheaded by DJ and Marla Huyck, parents of players in the baseball organization.
Along with its support of a cause that transcends sports, the event has other symbolic meanings. The relationship between 6-4-3 and the City of Marietta is an alliance that continues to grow. It is the kind of relationship that Danny Pralgo, founder of 6-4-3, envisioned when he created the full-service sports organization as a place where players could get everything they needed for their development as athletes, and as young men and women. Working from the Aviation Sports Complex in Marietta, Pralgo is creating one of the area’s best resources for young players by garnering the support of both strong baseball and business minds.
“We are thrilled to be in partnership with the City of Marietta,” says Pralgo, who founded the group as the 6-4-3 Baseball Academy in 2007 (it became 6-4-3 DP Athletics in 2010). “We work hard every day to show Marietta’s leadership and residents that we’re a dedicated partner and advocate for this great city.”
By becoming a baseball resource, 6-4-3 continues to attract relationships from local and national organizations alike. For example, 6-4-3 works with local baseball organizations such as Oregon Park Baseball, East Marietta National Little League, and Shaw Park Baseball, as well as with organizations like the Marietta Boys and Girls Club and Marietta Fire and Police departments.
On the national level, 6-4-3 produces a number of high profile tournaments with partners such as Triple Crown Sports, USSSA and Perfect Game. It also works with organizers of the DeMarini Top 96 showcase to play host to a national college coaches’ baseball clinic for high school and junior college/community college players. On the corporate side, 6-4-3 has joined forces with Pro Core Solutions, Rawlings, Mizuno, Jonquil Sporting Goods, ESIX (Entertainment and Sports Insurance eXperts) and Rapid Sports Performance.
“Partnerships require accountability,” says David Carr, COO of 6-4-3. “It is a great reminder for us to prove ourselves and our value every day. These partnerships give us a greater worldview. They push us outside of the travel ball environment and give us perspectives that challenge us to improve.”
In 2013, 6-4-3 DP Athletics is slated to facilitate 23 baseball teams ages 8-18 and the Sun Belt Baseball League, a summer wood bat league for some of the area’s collegiate players hosted at the Aviation Sports Complex. 6-4-3 also will host some 50 baseball and fast pitch softball tournaments and showcases, as well as continue to serve as a partner in other community/charitable events. In addition, the organization will provide a slate of instructional training for thousands of kids through private, group and team lessons, camps and clinics.
The program has seen tremendous growth since 2007, growing from two teams to 23 squads and the Sun Belt team. “We have show substantive growth across all lines of programming annually, including lessons, camps and clinics, and tournaments each year,” Pralgo says. “We’ve posted consistent high double-digit to triple-digit growth in all areas. Lessons provide are largest percentage growth area. We expect that to continue in 2013-2014.”
The growth also translates into attendance at the park and in the community. For example, last year, more than 60,000 people visited the Aviation complex to attend tournaments and other events, with 500-plus people visiting the facility every day to attend lessons, practices and clinics.
In the end, Pralgo says it’s all about the kids. “We are passionate about helping players of all ages and skill levels improve,” says Pralgo, who was one of the area’s most sought baseball instructors before he started 6-4-3. “That includes camps, clinics, private instruction and team competition. On the field training and development is at the core of our baseball-focused business. While we have an extraordinary amount of wonderful and supportive parents, our energy and time is devoted to helping these young athletes go as far as they can or desire. Like many businesses and organizations, having quality, passionate people and a stellar product are two must haves. We feel lucky to have both.”
The 411 on 6-4-3
6-4-3 DP Athletics
455 Aviation Road Marietta