In Fort Dupont Park, in Ward 7, there are a few beat up old baseball fields that are about to get a facelift, thanks to the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation and the Washington Nationals. This afternoon, I talked to Council Chair Vince Gray at the Nationals game, and he filled me in on a few details. The City has completed the land transfer with the Park Service, and the Nationals have committed to spending $1M on the academy to get things started and $250k/yr to run the youth academy, designed to get kids active in baseball.
Talking about the academy, it’s clear this is a project near and dear to Gray, who went on about his own time playing at Dunbar High School (he boasted a .500 average his junior and seniors years). To Gray, getting youth active in baseball is in tandem to getting them employed in the summertime, which could do a lot to keep young people engaged in the community and out of trouble. He’s also hoping that it might spur on the growth an adult league. Who knows, perhaps we’ll see the Council Chair out in the field some summery night in the future, bat in hand in an adult league?