Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg helped Subway and Little League break ground for a project to revamp an old ballpark in Garfield Park.
Garfield Park Little League started in 2008 and grew from nearly 50 participants back then to more than 350 players now. With the increase of players, the rundown field located at 3800 W. Jackson Blvd is in dire need of repairs.
Funded by a donation for an undisclosed amount from Subway, the renovations include upgrading the field’s dugouts, benches and overall field surface.
Sandberg, who some of the nearly 30 Little Leaguers in attendance admitted they only knew of him from watching his highlights on YouTube, stressed the importance of working hard. He said Little League laid the foundation for his illustrious 16-season MLB career.
“What I took away from Little League was being a part of a team and teamwork and hard work and improving yourself no matter,” Sandberg said.
Alderman Jason Ervin was also in attendance and said this gesture was important to give youth in the area hope.
“The Little League as a foundation for young people I think is very positive. And it shows that someone wants to invest in the community from outside and shows some value to what they’re doing,” Ervin said. “It really should enhance and shows these kids that somebody cares about them.”
Although Sandberg, Ervin and a handful of other Little League and Subway representatives broke ground Tuesday, the project isn’t expected to start for a couple of weeks. It should be done by the start of next season.
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