Renovations at historic League Park almost complete

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It's where Babe Ruth and Satchel Paige once played.

Now, we're just weeks away from historic League Park going from a diamond in the rough to just a diamond.

League Park looked much different in January of 2012. Two and a half years later, baseball is almost back.

"It's amazing," said Carrie Bell, a Ward 7 resident. "I don't know what to say except it's a long time coming."

The $6 million revitalization of League Park started at the beginning of this year.

"Hopefully a beautiful field like this and all of the history that comes with it will kind of rejuvenate that, and we would love for Hough to be the Mecca of baseball here in the inner city," said Cleveland City Councilman T.J. Dow.

Part of the renovations at League Park will include a museum, the historic ticket house which has been refurbished, a big green wall in right field, a walking track and a community room.

"To see it in the condition it's going to be in, we welcome the change and we're looking forward to being able to come here as a community and use it, use the facility for the things in the community that we want to do," Bell said.

"I've seen where it's been. I see where it is going, and I like where it is heading," said Cleveland resident Charles Lewis.

The new League Park will look completely different from the old League Park, but the layout will remain the same.

"When these kids go up we want them to come to the same place that Babe Ruth came to hit, and we want where Satchel Paige came to pitch -- we wanted our pitcher to be on that same mound," Dow said.

On Friday, crews were busy putting the finishing touches on the ProGrass Turf. Once the park is open, the city hopes to add stadium lights, a scoreboard and a parking lot.

"We are standing on the same field that Babe Ruth came and hit his 500th HR, the Negro baseball league came and played. There is so much history here, and when you walk on it you can't help but feel all of that going on," said Dow.

Barring any setbacks, it will be about two more months before this field is completely ready to go.

City officials hope to be playing baseball by August.