LANDOVER HILLS, Md. — This Friday, the ribbon was cut at Robbie Callaway Sr. Field at Group 1001 Park. This $1.2 million, 55,000-square-foot youth baseball field is unique in that it’s the first of its kind in the country to be on police property.
This field sits next to the Prince George’s County Police Department and on police grounds.
“I think this idea of working together with the police department right here on the grounds is going to make a difference in kids’ lives, it really will,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.
“You’re bringing the community here, but also you’re bringing the police officers to the community, and it just helps to make a better relationship," said MLB Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.
This field was made possible by the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation, started in honor of Ripken Jr.'s late father. The former Baltimore Orioles slugger, Ripken Jr., created this foundation after his father died more than two decades ago. His father was also his coach and an advocate for helping to strengthen America’s underserved communities.
"I go through an emotional run every single time we do a field because it’s personal to me. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation is named after dad, we lost him too early and my mom encouraged us to capture dad’s legacy by helping kids," Ripken Jr. said.
This is the 12th youth development park to be built as a direct result of the Foundation’s partnership with Group 1001.
This field in Landover, Md., will be home to various after school programs and sports for the Prince George’s County Police Activities League and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington.
At the ribbon cutting for the park, Ripken Jr. and Hogan joked that this field was nicer than some they grew up playing on.
Hogan said, "I grew up in Landover Hills right down the street and we hardly had grass on our fields. It was mostly dirt, so this looks way better."
Ripken Jr. said, "The lessons you learn from your coaches and the experience of sports we all know is valuable and we’d like to continue the experience and make it that much better for the kids to have a field like this to play on."
There is no date set for when the first games will be played on this new field, but officers with the Prince George's Police Department tell us they expect the field to be in use very soon.