06/08/2006 11:32 AM ET
Dedication of Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields takes place on Saturday
Ceremony for new youth recreation area at Lederman Park on Boston's Esplanade begins at 11:00 a.m.
BOSTON -- After nearly 18 months of planning and construction, the dedication of the new Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields will take place on the refurbished youth athletic fields, located along the Charles River on Saturday, June 10, 2006 with a special ceremony scheduled for 11:00 a.m.
Located in Lederman Park, one of Boston's best known state parks, the fields are situated near the Longfellow Bridge, in one of the most beautiful public parks in New England, on a site once designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as one of the first outdoor gymnasiums in the country.
The new Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields include 3 youth baseball/softball diamonds, a T-ball field, and 5 youth soccer fields. The fields were totally refurbished by a new public-private partnership that was jump started by Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and supported by generous donors from across New England through donations to the three non-profits that successfully raised the funds needed to revitalize the well loved but worn out diamonds in the rough that formerly occupied the area. Additional matching funds were contributed by the Office of Public Private Partnerships in the Executive Office Of Environmental Affairs.
The fields honor the memory of Teddy Ebersol, the youngest son of Dick Ebersol and Susan Saint James. Teddy, who was a passionate Red Sox fan, was just 14 when he died in a plane crash in November 2004, exactly one month after watching his beloved Red Sox erase 86 years of futility with a World Championship. The dedication date, June 10, 2006, would have been Teddy's 16th Birthday. The fields are intended not only to honor Teddy's memory, but all of those who love youth athletics and community service and who were taken from us too soon.
Dignitaries expected to attend Saturday's Dedication Celebration include United States Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, Massachusetts State Senate President Robert Travaglini, Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs Stephen Prichard and Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Stephen Burrington. Teddy's parents and other members of the Ebersol family and Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, and President/CEO Larry Lucchino will also be present as well as representatives of the three nonprofits that successfully raised over $2 million to fund the complete revitalization of the fields.
The project, which broke ground in June 2005, includes a new drainage system to alleviate the long-time flooding problems, a new irrigation system to ensure a healthy stand of grass throughout the playing season, landscaping, a water fountain, new park benches, portable bleachers, new backstops, a state-of-the-art lighting system donated by Musco Lighting and powered by NSTAR, and even a manual scoreboard reminiscent of the board on Fenway Park's Green Monster. A replica of the glove Teddy used will be cast in bronze and displayed on a granite bench at the fields as a memento of the tragic loss that gave birth to this gift for children and families for generations to come.
Jump started with a founding gift from Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, "Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields" is the result of an extraordinary collaboration between three non-profits: Hill House, the Esplanade Association, and the Red Sox Foundation. On the state end, the project was championed by Governor Romney and supported by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees and maintains the public area of the Esplanade.
The family of Dr. Melvin Lederman, for whom the fields across from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, graciously agreed to rename the area as Lederman Park so the youth athletic area could be called "Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields". The beautiful site on The Esplanade will honor the spirit of both a son and a brother lost too soon. There will be a subsequent Re-Dedication of Lederman Park in memory of Dr. Melvin Lederman, Surgeon, Humanitarian, War Hero, Commander U.S. Navy who was killed during a medical evacuation in Vietnam in 1969. He had earned four Purple Hearts and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1974, the Metropolitan District Commission named an area of the Charles Bank as the "Lederman Athletic Field" in memory of Dr. Lederman, who trained at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
The three non-profit charitable partners, the Hill House, the Esplanade Association and the Red Sox Foundation, are creating a new nonprofit called, "Friends of Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields" to help fund maintenance of the project. For more information please visit www.redsoxfoundation.org.
The Red Sox Foundation is the charitable arm of the team, and its mission is principally aimed at improving the health, educational, and recreational opportunities for children in New England, as well as addressing social issues that affect the quality of life in urban neighborhoods. Hill House, a non-profit community center, has truly become the "backyard in the city" for families living in Beacon Hill, Back Bay, North End, South End, Charlestown and other downtown neighborhoods. Hill House offers year-round creative programming, athletics and community events for children and adults, while fostering a sense of appreciation and spirit for living in Boston. The Esplanade Association works to restore and enhance Boston's historic Charles River Esplanade as a vital urban park to be enjoyed by all. The new fields were designed by Geller Sports of Boston, and constructed by Argus Construction of Boston.