|Published:||Nov 08, 2012 4:27 PM EST|
|Updated:||Nov 08, 2012 5:11 PM EST|
NAPLES, Fla. - If you build it, they will come.
"This field means so much to our community. We'll have thousands of young people to play on this field, opportunity to have a safe place, to enjoy learning together," said Theresa Shaw, the President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County.
Baker Field is a gift from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, along with a generous donation from Jay and Patty Baker.
"Patty and I spoke about it, we gotta have one in Naples and we couldn't be more excited about having a field here in Naples," said Jay Baker.
At Thursday's ceremony, it wasn't just the kids playing, but sheriff's with Collier County and Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken, Jr.
"I was one of the fortunate ones to fulfill a dream and play big league baseball, and I know what that feels like, and a lot of people have given me a lot of credit for doing a lot of different things. But I think the most fun part, or the learning part that I've had, is to use that platform that baseball gave me to really do good stuff. And to me, the definition of good stuff is to help kids," said Cal Ripken, JR.
And the idea is simple: give children in Collier County a safe place to play and to grow.
"I know what it feels like to walk off and win a game with a home run. I know what it feels like to win the World Series, but when you help a small little kid believe in himself, that's the best feeling in the whole world," said Ripken, Jr.
So far, the foundation has built 12 baseball parks around the country. The foundation hopes to reach 50 by 2016.
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