Diamonds are a kid's best friend - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Diamonds are a kid's best friend

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By Dean Stephens

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It is simply the most popular baseball phrase ever spoken in a major motion picture. It's a soft whisper, but it speaks volumes to baseball fans near and far: "If you build it, they will come."

They're seven words from the movie "A Field of Dreams" and that dream has become a reality for North Charleston recreation director Ed Barfield.

"We started looking at the northern corridor, nine or ten years ago and we saw a recreation need in the form of a multi-use park and ball fields," said Barfield.

The project was put on hold as the country dealt with the recession, but three years ago, Barfield said city council and the mayor gave it the thumbs up.

"We are trying to make memories for the kid, that's the business I'm in," said Barfield.

One look at Wescott Park and it's clear that Barfield and the city accomplished its mission. There are three state-of-the-art ball fields. All three have something special.

"There is a field with a replica of the green monster, another field features the skyline of Atlanta in center field and the third field is a replica of the Giants field with our own McCovey Cove in right field. No kayaks, but we can work on that."

All of the fields feature unique dugouts that are lighted with phones that ring the press box and big league benches.

The park has already hosted state wide baseball and softball tournaments, but Barfield says their first priority is the local teams.

"Building the facility really was a priority for our local teams. It's kind of like Disney World for these 9-and-10-year-old kids. It is so rewarding to see the reaction of the kids and the coaches and the parents as well," said Barfield.

The community impact of the field is not lost on Charleston Southern University Head Baseball Coach Stuart Lake.

"What I saw when I went out there is it's a place to go for youth baseball," said Lake. "It will really impact team baseball.  Baseball in your community is starting to get lost with travel baseball. Kids can grow up playing with their friends, it really excites me."

Wescott Park doesn't feature just baseball fields. There are two dog parks, a beach volleyball court, horseshoes, corn hole and 12 grills throughout the park.

The public is invited to come out for a meet and greet. It is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 6-9 p.m.

  • Dean Stephens

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