The Port Arthur News
Actor Kevin Costner had a corn field to deal with in his baseball movie Field of Dreams. Nederland Little League has an empty field.
The league has played on land in which Pure Oil, now Chevron Pipeline Company on FM 366, allowed them to occupy since 1962. Chevron’s property is no longer available and the league has until the end of the year to find a new home. To help, Chevron came forward and kicked-off fundraising efforts by donating $100,000 to assist in the relocation. Sunoco Logistics stepped up and leased 13 acres of land off Helena Avenue in Nederland for the price of $1 per year.
On Wednesday members of the NLL committee got together and looked over the property and spoke about their Field of Dreams.
Wade Kieschnick has a 12-year-old son playing for the league and a younger son who will likely play when he is older.
“I can’t think of anything else this big that encompasses youth as this,” Kieschnick said about baseball.”
Currently there are about 385 children in NLL who are seeking the Field of Dreams.
Jamie Evans is a “baseball mom” whose 10-year-old just entered the majors, she said.
“To me, this is not just about our kids. The whole community benefits from this,” Evans said.
Currently the future home of NLL is a large area of loose soil. Echo Maintenance has donated their time and heavy equipment to move the soil to the correct elevation and Construction Zone of Southeast Texas has provided architectural assistance. A large sign at the site shows the targeted amount needed to construct the Field of Dreams — $1.4 million. Jimmy Harrison, committee member, said the lofty price tag is the cost it would take to construct the three lighted fields with concession stands and restrooms if they had to purchase every item and pay for work on the raw land.
“Without these new fields, Nederland’s youth will be without a location to start and continue to play ‘America’s favorite pastime’ for the first time in 64 years,” committee members Harrison, Kieschnick, Jason Kotz and Jessica Harber said in a press release.
So far, the committee has collected upwards of $30,000 not including Chevron’s assistance with invoicing.
The league hopes to have funding in place to break ground in July and have the fields completed by the end of the year.
A number of sponsorship levels are available. Donations may be mailed to Nederland Little League, “Field of Dreams” Fund, P.O. Box 2188, Nederland, TX, 77627.
The Nederland Little League is a non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.