By Rosie Garcia, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Major League Baseball Legend Cal Ripken, Jr. hosted a youth baseball clinic at Global Communications Academy on Wednesday to celebrate the official opening of three new athletic fields in Hartford.
Thanks to donation from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
The fields feature an all-weather, low maintenance synthetic surface and will accommodate softball, baseball, football, and soccer, city officials said. The fields are located at Global Communications Academy at 85 Edwards St., Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School at 280 Plainfield St., and at Hyland Park at 355 New Britain Ave.
“It is an honor to host Cal Ripken Jr. in Hartford and to give our young residents an opportunity to learn from this baseball legend. We are grateful to him and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation for being our strategic partner in building three fields in the Capital City. These sacred community spaces will benefit many young residents and families, promoting physical exercise and activity for years and years to come,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.
The city funded the total cost of the three new, multi-purpose artificial turf fields. Officials authorize $1,865,000 for Hyland Park, $1,700,000 for Annie Fisher, and $1,300,000 for Global Communications. The total investment was almost $5,000,000.
This brought the total investment in park infrastructure to $17.6 million since 2010.
The partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is part of the organization’s national Youth Development Park initiative, which aims to develop unique, multi-purpose, low maintenance fields with synthetic turf to provide a cohesive recreational and educational experience for underserved young people across the United States.
“It is amazing to look back and see how far we have come in the past 14 years,” said Cal Ripken, Jr. “Without the continued support of our partners, none of this would have been possible. Thanks to them, we can continue to expand our reach across the country and make a lasting impact on our youth.”
There are currently youth development parks operating in Maryland, Texas, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Minnesota.