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Reds, MLB dedicate Frank Robinson Field

Renovated field in Village of St. Bernard is named after Reds and National Baseball Hall of Famer
August 5, 2019

CINCINNATI -- The Reds and Major League Baseball unveiled a newly renovated baseball field at Ross Park in St. Bernard last Thursday. Featuring a new field with a synthetic infield that will be home to both the St. Bernard-Elmwood Place and Roger Bacon high school teams, Frank Robinson Field is

CINCINNATI -- The Reds and Major League Baseball unveiled a newly renovated baseball field at Ross Park in St. Bernard last Thursday.

Featuring a new field with a synthetic infield that will be home to both the St. Bernard-Elmwood Place and Roger Bacon high school teams, Frank Robinson Field is the first of two fields to be dedicated as part of the Reds’ 150th Anniversary Legacy Project in 2019. The second ballfield is set to be dedicated at Bellevue Vets Park on Aug. 15.

The dedication ceremony was held during the 2019 Community Makeover, a day-long service project working at Ross Park and surrounding areas. Reds dignitaries on hand for the ceremony and official ribbon cutting included Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini, Senior Vice President of Business Operations Karen Forgus and Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan. Representatives of the various partners on the project also attended the ceremony, including constituents from St. Bernard as well as members of P&G, the Reds’ community makeover partner for 10 years running, along with Cincinnati Zoo, Kroger and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Many St. Bernard residents also showed up for the event, along with a large contingent of the hundreds of volunteers who have helped prepare the site throughout the summer. With some finishing touches still needing to be done, the volunteers got right back to work at the conclusion of the ceremony.

“Thank you, St. Bernard, for welcoming us with open arms,” Castellini said. “As stewards of this franchise during the Reds’ historic 150th anniversary of professional baseball, it’s our privilege to present Frank Robinson Field to the village of St. Bernard. This legacy project stands in tribute and appreciation to the hundreds of communities like St. Bernard who have supported youth baseball programs for generations.”

Castellini and Morgan both recognized the significant contributions of Major League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred that allowed this Legacy Project to come to fruition. While the Commissioner was unable to make the trip for the occasion, he passed along some words and shared in the excitement of Cincinnati’s newest addition.

“Frank was passionate about creating opportunities for the next generation to play baseball and softball,” Manfred said. “He helped complete the process for the Reds to open their beautiful Youth Academy, and this new field is the next step in elite-level development and education for the games of baseball and softball in Greater Cincinnati.”

Robinson passed away in February at the age of 83. A 14-time All-Star, two-time MVP and World Series champion, Robinson is a National Baseball Hall of Famer, Reds Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players to ever take the field. He was a player and person Morgan always looked up to.

“I’ve been probably the biggest Frank Robinson fan for a lot longer than anyone here,” Morgan said. “Frank grew up in Oakland, California. I grew up in Oakland, California. Frank was a little ahead of me, and he would do things on the field that I would read about. And I followed him through the newspaper all that time. And I followed him when he came here to the Reds.

“I was very fortunate to play for Frank Robinson when he was a manager. I had already played on the 'Big Red Machine,' I had won championships and won MVPs. But I got a chance to play for him and I learned a lot more in those two years I played for him.”

It’s no wonder a field named after the legendary Robinson is so important. His contributions to the game cannot be overstated, nor can his impact off the field.

“Frank’s name instantly elevates the field’s significance, transforming the beloved Ross Park into one of the official landmarks of our 150th year anniversary,” Castellini said. “The village of St. Bernard is a perfect place for such an honor. You represent everything that is good about this game.”

The goal of the annual Community Makeover project is to make a transformative and sustainable impact on a Cincinnati neighborhood and its residents while strengthening local youth baseball and softball programs. The investments in the St. Bernard project will provide significant and sustainable impact in the long-term development of the community and its residents.

Additional features of the new field include a “Palace of the Fans” backstop façade as a tribute to the historic Reds ballpark and Frank Robinson mural. Makeover volunteers worked on a recreation trail with fitness stations, a dog park, a concession stand and a nursing room for mothers. A team of 50 Cincinnati Children’s employees worked together to repaint and refresh the St. Bernard Community room.

Makeover project partners include Pepper Construction, MSA Design, The Motz Group, Duke Energy, Cincinnati Community Toolbank, OneSource, Southwestern Ohio Services, Ashlee Fence Enterprises Inc. and Gallant Professional Services, LLC.