The Washington Nationals dedicated Bryce Harper Field at the Takoma Community Center this past Saturday. This is the third legacy field created in conjunction with Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
“I am excited and honored to participate in the dedication of Bryce Harper Field at the Takoma Community Center,” Harper said in a statement. “Youth baseball was a very important part of my childhood. The game of baseball has taught me life lessons and shaped the man I am today. To give back to the D.C. community and have local kids play baseball on a field dedicated in my name is truly an honor.”
The Nationals’ Dream Foundation plans to renovate one youth baseball and/or softball field in the D.C. region each year and has done so the past two seasons. Ryan Zimmerman Field became the first in April 2016, with a field just a few blocks away from Nationals Park. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Field was dedicated in August 2017 at Mason District Park in Annandale, Va.
Zimmerman is one of the faces of the franchise and has been with the club since 2005, while Rodriguez is a Hall of Famer who made a strong impact in a brief period with Washington. While Harper has become one of the faces of the Nationals, his contract is also due to expire at the end of the season.
Despite that, Bryce Harper Field will accommodate different styles of youth baseball play and will serve the surrounding community by hosting the Senators Satchel Paige Little League games. The project includes also a baseball-dedicated play space located to the south of the field.
“I am delighted to announce Bryce’s support of the Dream Foundation’s third Legacy Field project,” Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, chair of the Dream Foundation, said in a statement. “We know that when kids have safe, state-of-the-art facilities to play baseball and softball, they embrace the game and all of its benefits. With these fields, the Dream Foundation is helping to cultivate baseball’s lessons of perseverance, teamwork and the importance of physical activity among the D.C. region’s kids.”
The field will open to the public on May 26th. This will give the newly laid sod time to establish.
We can’t wait for summer to arrive to hear the umpire ring out, “Play ball!!!”
In addition to this upgrade baseball diamond, the Department of Parks and Recreation is working on installing LED lighting on an adjacent field so that the Takoma Rec’s long history of supporting youth and adult soccer can continue unabated.
Portions via press release from mlb.com