Chicago Cubs scout refurbishes Hyde Park elementary school baseball field with $200K grant

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cubs Scout Kerron Walker has a great vision for the baseball field he grew up on at Ray Elementary School.

"The kids need it. They are in need of something to do constructive," Walker said. "Get together where they can have some fun. Where all the community can come together and play. And what greater thing than baseball and fields to do that on."

The vision is now possible thanks to a $200,000 refurbishment grant from Scotts and Major League Baseball, who selected Ray's field from 350 applications nationwide.

"This field could mean so much to our community and it's something that's very personal to me," said Frank Lin. "It's the school I went to and I know some of the kids who go to school here. To see that they will have the opportunity to play baseball and to play on a field that is a lot nicer than it is now means a lot."

"Bixler playground lot is next door and probably our most used playground. So to have this renovated baseball field in this part of Hyde Park will really draw this community together," said Anne Renna.

It means a lot for Walker to have this happening at his old school.

"It is really cool. I can't describe it," he said. "I was talking to my friend Frank about it, who actually went to school here about what it meant to us to have a place to play and a place where I grew up and my daughter is here is just awesome."

It's been nearly 25 years since they've been able to play actual baseball on this field. So for a community as diverse as Hyde Park, this grant and renovation truly is a game changer."
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