October 12, 2012
WFF breaks ground on Kerry Wood Cubs Field
New field for public league athletes and Chicago residents
CHICAGO -- The Wood Family Foundation celebrated the groundbreaking of Kerry Wood Cubs Field on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in partnership with the Chicago Cubs, the Ricketts family, Chicago Cubs Charities, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Turner Construction, Alderman Ameya Pawar and Clark Park Advisory Council. All contributed to make the $5 million project possible.
Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts joined Kerry Wood to break ground on the field, along with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, Pawar, representatives of the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Turner Construction and members of the baseball teams from City Champion Simeon High School, Lane Tech High School and Lakeview High School.
Once completed, Kerry Wood Cubs Field will be owned and operated by the Chicago Park District. The field will include seating for 1,100 spectators and is expected to be used by Chicago public high schools citywide throughout the high school baseball season during and after school hours. The Park District also expects to use the field for recreational leagues and use by the general public.
"It is an honor to be a part of this project that will help keep public school baseball teams local during playoff season," Wood said. "We want this field to benefit student athletes in many ways for years to come."
Wood retired during the 2012 baseball season as a Cubs fan favorite following a career which included two All-Star Game appearances, National League Rookie of the Year honors and a share of the record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game -- 20 -- in a May 6, 1998, win over the Houston Astros. Kerry and his wife, Sarah, formed the Wood Family Foundation in 2011 and now focus on the community and its children.
"Chicago Cubs Charities is committed to providing increased access to sports opportunities and improving the lives of children and families across this city," said Laura Ricketts, who is also a Cubs owner and board member. "We are proud of the partnership we developed with Kerry and Sarah, the city, Turner Construction and the Clark Park Advisory Council to make this field a reality.
"Cubs Field is a very visible sign of my family's commitment to the City of Chicago and its families," Ricketts said. "By next summer, we look forward to parents, coaches and children celebrating champions and championships at Kerry Wood Cubs Field."
The project is a potential field of dreams for young baseball players. Construction will begin immediately and should be completed in the first half of 2013.
About the Wood Family Foundation: Wood Family Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in June 2011 by Kerry and Sarah Wood. The WFF works to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago by raising funds and awareness for its children's programs and other children's charities they support. The WFF acts as an advocate for children in the Chicago community, inspiring others to join them in their mission of giving children the resources they need to succeed.