Baseball-loving kids, parents, residents and some big-hit names mingled last Thursday to celebrate a major makeover at a popular ball field at Lee Park in Robbinsdale.
The dedication ceremony celebrated a renovation that came courtesy of Major League Baseball All-Star Game-related community contributions. Metrowide, the Minnesota Twins, the Pohlad Family Foundation, the Twins Community Fund and MLB Charities contributed more than $8 million to local organizations and community projects as part of the festivities surrounding the game.
In Robbinsdale, the money provided renovations at the small, outdated field that the city could not have afforded on its own. The upgrades, which began in early May, include reorienting the field, installation of new synthetic turf, a new scoreboard, a fully fenced-in field, foul poles and new dugouts.
The renovations also will expand the use of the field, which so far has been used for baseball leagues for children ages 5 to 10. With the addition of fences and other amenities like a mobile mound and bases, kids up to the age of 13 can use the field, he said. The upgraded field also will allow the city to host more games and tournaments, which will bring more visitors to Robbinsdale.
The total cost of the project was $946,000, according to city officials. The Twins and MLB contributed $300,000, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation $50,000 and the city $270,000. The project also received a $325,000 Hennepin County Youth Sports grant and a $10,000 Twins Fields for Kids grant.