Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation creating a whole new ballgame in West Baltimore

BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) - “This is our field of dreams. This is something we always imagined,” said Mosher Little League member Michael Singletary while looking out at mounds of dirt, bulldozers and dump trucks.

What’s been in their imagination for so long is finally becoming reality. The James Mosher Little League baseball field is undergoing a transformation.

“Our kids, I feel, are in the forefront of the future,” said Mosher Little League President William Neal.

Renovations are underway at the sandlot on West Mosher Street. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and BGE are teaming up to create Eddie Murray Field. Named after the longtime Oriole and Hall-of-Famer, the new field will have synthetic turf, dugouts and a digital scoreboard.  It’s a far cry from what the community has had for the past half century.

“We’ve been on this field for 58 years. We’re getting ready to start a 59th season. Never did we think this would happen. But, never did we think we couldn’t have it,” said Neal.

Thanks to Cal Jr. and company, historic Mosher Little League is getting it. They’re the oldest continuously running African-American youth baseball league in the country.

“They’re the real deal. They care about the kids,” said Orioles legend Ripken Jr., who is also the Ripken Foundation Vice Chairman. “They’ve been doing it for a long time. They care about baseball. You really can see how they’re going to grab this field and how they’re going to continue their great work.”

And the park isn’t only for baseball.

“As long as it’s something that they really enjoy and they can get a positive impact and steer them in the right direction, that’s all we care about,” added Ripken Jr.

When all is said and done, the mounds of dirt are finally gone and the field is complete, members of the Mosher Little League hope that the facility can get more African-Americans in their community involved in and playing the sport of baseball.

“In the past 10-15 years black kids haven’t been playing baseball. We’ve been struggling to keep our teams alive,” said Mosher Little League member Delmar Harrod. “Now, with this new field, maybe they say maybe give this baseball a try.”

The ballpark should be done by November.

Singletary knows what he wants to see when opening day comes next spring:

“To see the senior members, the elder members walk on this field and just take a look at it and be at awe and say to the membership job well done. Job well done.”

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerABC2 and Facebook

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