Beckum-Stapleton fields upgraded thanks to Christian Yelich

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The Beckum-Stapleton Little League fields receive improvements thanks to Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, American Family and other groups.

The league is a voluntary, non-profit organization that has provided supervised baseball opportunities to youth on the North Side of Milwaukee since the 1960s.

“Christian definitely remembers where he came from,” Alecia Yelich, Christian’s mother, said at a press conference Monday in the fields. She was there with his son, Collin, represent Christian. “He played a lot of games on a lot of fields like these when he was in a little league. He really cares about youth sports, especially baseball.”

The dugout canoes for two of the league’s five diamonds at Beckum and Carver parks will be redeveloped with new fences and locked gates and one field will receive new dugouts, said Jim Brey, the league’s executive director. These upgrades have been identified as the “top priorities” for the league, according to a press release.

“With Yelich’s donation, we can have safer and cleaner canoes in the future,” Brey said.

Yelich has been an American Family brand ambassador since 2019, when the company announced its partnership with the Brewers.

“The relationship with the Brewers, their players, including Christian Yelich, and their fans goes far beyond having our name on the court,” said Sherina Smith, vice president of marketing for American Family. “It’s also about working together to have a positive impact on the Milwaukee community.”

Associated Bank and the Brewers Community Foundation, which funds league uniforms, are also supporting the upgrades. Nike will donate equipment and clothing to the league on Yelich’s behalf.

“When we all play on the same team, everyone wins,” said Cecelia Gore, Executive Director of the Brewers Community Foundation. “We are harnessing the pride, passion and commitment of our fans, players and other supporters to make a positive impact on the community. I can’t think of a better plan to kick off this playoff season. ”

Upgrades will be ready for opening day 2022, according to a press release.

“I’m happy to see that someone is interested in helping us improve the grounds,” said James W. Beckum, 92, co-founder of the league and including James. W. Beckum Park was named after. “It’s exciting. It will be great for the kids and also for the people to come here to see the community change and improve.”

The league started in 1964 when a pastor named EB Phillips of the Greater Galilee Baptist Church asked Beckum, who played in the Black Leagues, and Charles Stapleton to provide a place for local kids to play baseball.

“They have done so much for this community,” said David Crowley, Milwaukee County Manager. “If you know someone who has been involved with Little League Beckum-Stapleton, you know the values ​​they were instilled, the work ethic they were taught. It is always good to invest in programs. like this one.”

Douglas Fritz, 12, said he enjoyed playing baseball in the league because of the “brotherly bond” he made with other players. Fritz, who plays shortstop, second and pitcher, has been on the program for three years.

“I just want to thank the coaches for all the help they gave me because when I started I wasn’t as good as I am now,” said Fritz.

The league started with four teams and 60 kids, Beckum said in a previous interview with Journal Sentinel. Since its inception, it has served “well over” 25,000 young people, according to his website.

“We are building the stars of tomorrow,” said Brey. “Maybe not all of the major league baseball stars, but the community’s major league stars. And that’s our goal.”

Bill Glauber of Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

Contact Hannah Kirby at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.



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