Two T-ball fields at Miami Lakes Optimist Park were renovated this year with a $50,000 grant from Major League Baseball and Scotts lawn product company, and the town and the Optimist Club unveiled them on Aug. 12.
Tykes began play that day on miniature versions of baseball fields. They could aspire to having a Major League Baseball career like that of Hanley Ramirez, an All-Star who played a variety of positions for the Miami Marlins, Boston Red Sox and other teams.
Ramirez, 38, of Miami Beach, is retired from the game. He welcomed the young players and appeared on behalf of MLB and Scotts.
“They’re doing something beautiful for all communities in America to prepare the fields for the kids,” Ramirez said
in Spanish about the grantors. Ramirez said good facilities and fields will enable children to feel more comfortable while playing the sport.
“It’s an opportunity to watch the kids enjoy,” Ramirez said.
In the second photo:
Play ball! Officials cut the ribbon on Aug. 12 to open two new T-ball fields at Optimist Park. Front row from left: Fla. Rep. Alex Rizo; Town of Miami Lakes Parks and Athletics Manager Manny Martinez, Councilmembers Marilyn Ruano and Luis Collazo, Grants and Governmental Affairs Manager Renée Wilson; Mayor Manny Cid; retired Major League Baseball star Hanley Ramirez; Scotts Government Affairs Director Nick Hansen; Vice Mayor Jeffrey Rodriguez and Councilman Josh Dieguez. Back row: Ernie Sainz, Frank Landrove (behind Collazo); Danny de Varona, Jim Hamilton, Nelson Garcia, all of the Optimist Club and town intern Sebastian Riquelme.