On Friday, the Arizona Diamondbacks unveiled their 42nd Diamonds Back field in Litchfield Park and it was only fitting to dedicate the field to the great number 42, Jackie Robinson.
The unveiling was attended by local Little League players, Litchfield Park mayor Thomas Schoaf, D-backs VP of corporate and community Impact, Debbie Castaldo, D-backs play-by-play announcer Steve Berthiaume, APS CEO Don Brandt and D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall. Jackie and Rachel Robinson’s nephew, Dr. Charles Williams delivered a speech showing his gratitude for the honor.
“On behalf of the Robinson family I would like to show my appreciation for the support the Diamondbacks have extended towards the foundation and also for the dedication of this beautiful facility for the legacy of Jackie Robinson,” Williams said.
While the organization has built 41 other fields since the year 2000, Hall says this one has added meaning.
“When you look at what Jackie has done, not only for civil rights and human rights, he has so much to be proud of,” Hall said.
“If he was here today, he would be proud. I would say to all of you that are going to play on this great field, enjoy the field but more importantly, never forget the importance and significance of the greatness associated with the legacy of Jackie Robinson.”
The new field took nine months of planning and construction to complete.
Not only will Jackie Robinson Field impact the children who get to play baseball on it, but it will also have a lasting impact on Litchfield Park’s energy conservation efforts.
The field will use LED lights which could save more than $6,000 annually in energy and maintenance. The lights could reduce the towns carbon footprint by approximately 20 tons per year.
Mayor Schoaf, whose first activity when he moved to Arizona in 1980 was becoming a Little League Coach, was thrilled for his community because of what the field stands for.
“Litchfield Park is all about neighborhoods and families, so this field fits in exactly in our community,” he said. “Everyone is welcome in Litchfield Park and Jackie Robinson is absolutely the foundation of that belief in our country and we’re happy to have his field in our community.”
With support from APS and charitable donations from D-backs players, the organization has invested over $10 million since the beginning of the millennium.