The Cedar Rapids “League of Dreams” celebrated opening night June 15, 2010 at Jones Park. All participants were 2nd and 3rd graders from five local schools severely affected by the flood of 2008. The league consisted of six teams that played a total of twelve games that culminated on July 21st.
The “Cedar Rapids League of Dreams” is an outgrowth of the Jones Park Baseball Project which was announced last fall in response to the flood that devastated Cedar Rapids in 2008. The Jones Park Project was formed to upgrade the number and quality of baseball fields in Cedar Rapids. Now, the “League of Dreams” gives 75 kids a chance to play on one of those fields. The league was designed to help schools, children, and families hit the hardest by the flood to participate in a fun, relaxed, and informative baseball program.
The 75 youngsters and 6 coaches who comprised the new League of Dreams visited Perfect Game Field Thursday, July 1 for a Cedar Rapids Kernels pre-game ceremony. Jim Ecker from Perfect Game, Tom Barbee, President of the Kernels Foundation, and Mike O’Neil with the Parks and Recreation Department, presided over the ceremony.
The teams played a game on Perfect Game Field and enjoyed a picnic at Veterans Memorial Stadium on July 27th to wrap-up the season.
The youth baseball league, sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Perfect Game USA, Rawlings Sporting Goods, Minor League Baseball Charities, the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, with a big assist from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, offered 75 girls and boys the chance to play baseball this summer at no cost. The newly formed League of Dreams will become an annual event each summer.