Major League Baseball and the Miami Marlins unveiled another 2017 All-Star Legacy project with a dedication ceremony on Saturday, July 8 for the newly-renovated youth baseball field at Charles Hadley Park in Liberty City in Miami-Dade County.
Upgrades to Charles Hadley Park -- which was developed and constructed through the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation -- consisted of a complete renovation of a baseball field, including replacing all fencing and the backstop with new vinyl coated fencing, drainage improvements, installing new dugouts and re-grading the outfield turf. Additional improvements included reconditioning the infield clay, new concrete sidewalks and providing concrete slabs under the dugouts and bleachers.
MLB Hall of Famer The Hawk Andre Dawson, Marlins 2003 World Series Champion Manager Trader Jack McKeon, two-time MLB all-star Placido Palanco and Billy the Marlin along with Marlins Team President David Samson participated in the festivities.
Vice President of Social Responsibility for MLB Melanie LeGrande, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Umpire Rodney Tillman and Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon also took part in the field dedication ceremony.
Hardemon threw out the first... and second... pitch.
Kelley Lamb, a former softball catcher for South Miami Sr. High School and the first girl on a Liberty City baseball team, is the commissioner of the Liberty City Warriors Baseball Program, which calls Charles Hadley Park home. Lamb, who also competed on the first Liberty City girls’ softball team, is a digital media production specialist, graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She is a T-ball coach, too.
Boys and girls, age 7-12, from the Liberty City Warriors baseball program not only attended the special event, but they also christened the field by playing a ball game on it. They wore black or green Marlins RBI baseball jerseys.
Marlins RBI is an invitational sports based youth program designed to promote interest in baseball, academic achievement and social responsibility in underserved areas of South Florida. The Marlins supply uniforms, umpires and equipment to more than 500 children annually.
As for the field project, MLB and the Miami Marlins have donated approximately $5 million through MLB Charities and the Marlins Foundation toward several All-Star Legacy and Legacy Plus improvement projects as well as to support national charitable initiatives. A portion of the funds will be raised from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 10 at Marlins Park.
This is the 20th anniversary of the MLB All-Star Legacy initiative. Since 1997, MLB and host All-Star clubs have donated more than $80 million in All-Star charitable contributions.
Each coach, player and rep at the Charles Hadley Park ceremony received a prize pack, courtesy MLB and the Marlins. The event was part of MLB All-Star Week Miami.
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