CHICAGO — A new field of dreams opened Tuesday for some young Chicago baseball players as Chicago Cubs Charities helped rebuild two fields in Hermosa Park.
At Pritzker College Prep Monday, students played baseball on their reconditioned home field for the first time.
“When they see the price tag, $230,000, that’s a big number for these kids,” says baseball coach Andrew Wetmore.
For some, the enormous number may find hard to comprehend. For others, it’s generosity. Since 2018, Cubs Charities has raised money to rehab two baseball fields, dig new dugouts, side wings, and create a storage unit with tools at Hermosa Park.
Tuesday, it all became a reality.
“It’s things like sports that teaches all sorts of intangibles,” Wetmore said. “You know, baseball, in particular, is a game where you are going to fail at least seven-out-of-10 times, so you are always dealing with adversity.”
Most of the players come from low-income minority backgrounds. Their coach says they were initially excited but now they’re blown away.
“I don’t really think they had the full grasp of what was going into it,” Wetmore said.
After the last few years of isolation and Covid, the hope is that the new field will be a place to heal and move forward as a community.
“I woke up to a tweet from Coach Andrew Wetmore who was so excited about today’s Cubs Charities Diamond Project,” Cubs Charities executive director Alicia Gonzalez said.
Since 2014, Cubs Charities has invested nearly $11 million in local baseball and softball programs. In 2022, there will be 12 ribbon cuttings and $2 million additional dollars donated — some in partnership with the Chicago Park District. They say it’s an investment in infrastructure and investment in the future.