Lamar Porter Baseball Complex Draws Roster of Star Power for $5.6M Makeover

by George Waldon  on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 12:00 am  

In a letter to the committee, Robinson recounted some of his cherished memories associated with the ballpark.

“Having played at Lamar Porter Field from 1952 to 1954 for the Doughboys Legion team, it was truly my favorite place to be when I was growing up.

“It was my second home as I went to Woodruff Grammar School right across the street. I sold cold drinks, worked on the scoreboard and kept score of many games. I was the bat boy for several of the teams my Dad played on at Lamar Porter.

“Not only did I sharpen my baseball skills at Lamar Porter, I even once won a bubble blowing contest there and proudly rode a new bicycle home.

“The memories of playing there and the friendships that I made have lasted all my life.”

What could top the drawing power of Robinson, a Lamar Porter alumnus, 18-time All-Star third baseman with the Baltimore Orioles, 16-time Gold Glove winner, member of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team and more?

Hosting a doubleheader event at Lamar Porter with Robinson and his 1966-71 teammate Frank Robinson, a fellow Hall of Famer, 14-time All-Star outfielder, the first black manager in major league baseball and more.

Reuniting the Robinsons, who helped Baltimore win the World Series in 1966 and 1970 and four American League pennants, would be a stellar bill to advance the Lamar Porter cause. But it’s still in the talking stages of possibilities.

Star power from the past with Brooks Robinson and the present with Cliff Lee is helping expand the fan base of the ballpark and broaden its foundational support beyond individuals with ties to the park and organizations such as the Jim Elder Good Sport Fund.

The demise of Little Rock’s Ray Winder Field, built in 1931 and replaced by a parking lot in 2012, served as a catalyst to ramp up the effort to update and restore Lamar Porter.

“After losing Ray Winder, we all got a knot in our stomach: What’s left?” said John Greer Jr., principal at the Little Rock architecture firm of Witsell Evans Rasco.

“We have something reminiscent of the old baseball days, and we want to keep it alive for future generations. We have some real energy in it now to make some real headway into the fundraising.”

 

 

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