Diamonds are a kid's best friend

By Dean

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)-- It is simply the most popularbaseball phrase ever spoken in a major motion picture. It'sa soft whisper, but it speaks volumes to baseball fans near and far: "Ifyou build it, they will come."

They're seven words from the movie "A Field of Dreams" and that dream hasbecome a reality for North Charleston recreation director Ed Barfield.

"Westarted looking at the northern corridor, nine or ten years ago and we saw arecreation need in the form of a multi-use park and ball fields," saidBarfield.

Theproject was put on hold as the country dealt with the recession, but threeyears ago, Barfield said city council and the mayor gave it the thumbs up.

"Weare trying to make memories for the kid, that's the business I'm in," saidBarfield.

Onelook at Wescott Park and it's clear that Barfield and thecity accomplished its mission. There are three state-of-the-art ball fields. Allthree have something special.

"Thereis a field with a replica of the green monster, another field features theskyline of Atlantain center field and the third field is a replica of the Giants field with ourown McCovey Cove in right field. No kayaks, but we can work on that."

Allof the fields feature unique dugouts that are lighted with phones that ring thepress box and big league benches.

Thepark has already hosted state wide baseball and softball tournaments, butBarfield says their first priority is the local teams.

"Buildingthe facility really was a priority for our local teams. It's kind of likeDisney World for these 9-and-10-year-old kids. It is so rewarding to seethe reaction of the kids and the coaches and the parents as well," saidBarfield.

Thecommunity impact of the field is not lost on Charleston Southern UniversityHead Baseball Coach Stuart Lake.

"WhatI saw when I went out there is it's a place to go for youth baseball," said Lake. "Itwill really impact team baseball.{}Baseball in your community is starting to get lost with travel baseball.Kids can grow up playing with their friends, it really excites me."

Wescott Park doesn't feature justbaseball fields. There are two dog parks, a beach volleyball court, horseshoes,corn hole and 12 grills throughout the park.

Thepublic is invited to come out for a meet and greet. It is scheduled forWednesday, Sept. 25 from 6-9 p.m.