Park Created to Honor Baseball’s History

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CLEVELAND -- Get ready to play ball and a whole lot more at a historic area in Cleveland's inner city.

A new community park has been built at the former League Park. It represents a rebirth of an area where baseball greats like Babe Ruth and Satchel Paige once roamed the field.

The new park has a community ball field, a multi-purpose trail and a spray basin.

The dedication ceremony included the naming of the new facility. It is now the Fannie M. Lewis Community Park at League Park.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the restoration of League Park was something that the late councilwoman talked about in the 20 years he knew her.

"This was one of the top things that she talked about and the things that she wanted to see completed," he said.

The restoration project is a $6 million investment in the Hough neighborhood. It turns three city blocks into green space.

Michael Cox, Director of Public Works for the City of Cleveland, said he also hopes it helps to revive baseball in the inner city.

"We want people to come over, young people come over, adults to come over with them and just pick up a ball and pick up a bat and play some ball," said Cox.

Phase two of the restoration includes reconstructing the historic League Park ball field and the rebuilding of the ticket house and the grandstand wall.

"Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run here. The Negro League has a championship here. The Cleveland Indians played for the World Series in 1901 on this very site. This is a historic site," Cox added.

The League Park restoration project is said to be on time and on budget. A grand opening celebration is planned for next June.