We here at B-more Opinionated are always keeping an eye out for those doing positive things in the community and will certainly highlight that from time-to-time on the podcast and here on our blogs (especially as it pertains to local sports). With that in mind, here’s a cool story on the ongoing outreach work MLB is doing in urban Baltimore, in this case involving a few O’s Hall of Famers from the glory days of the franchise.
Thanks to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) and Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), youth in West Baltimore will soon have a new place to play ball and hang out. Eddie Murray Field at BGE Park will be the 59th Youth Development Park built by CRSF. The parks created by the Foundation “encourage healthy physical activity and provide mentorship opportunities through youth sports and enrichment programs.” Eddie Murray Field at BGE Park will feature a synthetic turf baseball diamond with dugouts and a digital scoreboard, and will be located behind James Mosher Elementary. The field will be a home for James Mosher Baseball (which is longest continuously operating African-American youth baseball league in the country) and also host after-school programming.
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has spent the past 15 years crafting youth development programs in order to tackle the issues facing at-risk youth in affected areas. The Ripken Foundation has completed 59 parks across the country over the last five years. According to statistics from CRSF, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1 million kids nationwide through its youth programming and Youth Development Parks in 2015.
The partnership with BGE has provided significant financial support, and Calvin G. Butler, Jr., chief executive officer for BGE stated, “BGE shares CRSF’s mission to positively impact the community, especially the lives of young people. Investing in our youth in the communities that need it most will provide the foundation for growth and strengthen Baltimore.” The project is also being completed thanks to financial support from Bon Secours Hospital, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, The Cupid Foundation, Under Armour, and The State of Maryland and Fields, Inc.
“It’s crucial that we provide our youth with opportunities to play, learn and grow in a positive environment,” said Cal Ripken, Jr., Ripken Foundation Vice Chairman, Baltimore Orioles legend, and Baseball Hall of Famer. “Kids need caring adults who can teach them important life lessons like teamwork, respect and personal responsibility; they need guidance to be shown that there are other options besides negative influences. It’s great to provide the kids in West Baltimore with a safe place to play and learn.”
It is always fantastic to see investments made to benefit the youth in our community, but the fact that the Ripken Foundation is behind the project makes it all the more meaningful.
Below is a video from the CRSF featuring a park and program they put together in Florida. Coming soon to West Baltimore!