Ford Heights opens first youth baseball field

FORD HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- The Village of Ford Heights opened its first ever youth baseball field Friday, called the Excell Walker Field.

Families, players, coaches and World Series Champion Clark the Cub were all on hand to see dreams come true.

"It's a great feeling, this is something that you dream of," said George Green, head coach of the Ford Heights Pirates. "It just lets you know that dreams do come true. This is something that Carlton and I envisioned that we wanted our kids to have, something that they can be proud of."

Green has spent the last three years driving kids back and forth from Olympia Fields five or six times a week.

"To do nothing was not an option," Green said. "We have to do something to change the kid's thought process and sports changed us...that's what kept us positive, so those are the things that we do to help bring the village around."

The Cook County Sheriff's Department, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, Chicago Cubs charities, Former Cubs Pitcher Jason Hammel, McHugh Construction, and several other organizations all came together to put this baseball field together.

"They donated so much time, money and help these kids in the area have a baseball field that everybody in the region is going to be proud of," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Hammel said tea's struggles remind him of his childhood and this new field can bring hope to the community.

"My baseball field had no fence and cones and more often than not I played catch with myself with a tire nailed to a tree," said Hammel. "So I feel that, I can understand having the opportunity to...just go somewhere and be able to play baseball."

More than $150,000 was donated from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to build Excell Walker Field.
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