Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation opens new multipurpose park in Baltimore

Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 18:35:09-05

Kids in Baltimore have a new place to play in the city and it's where one of baseball's icons used to call home. 

The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and Saint Agnes Healthcare opened its 60th multipurpose park. The groups' leaders say they want the park to be more than just a safe place to play, but to breathe new life into the community.

When a vision turns to reality, it's satisfying. 

"Looking at it now, we feel good about it. We're way more encouraged because now, all of sudden, more and more people are coming to us," Cal Ripken Jr. said. 

For the hall of famer, it's a milestone with history. 

A new space where 'The Great Bambino' used to round the bases. 

"I played over here and I made a reference that it feels a little ghost like because, in a way, Babe Ruth played here," Ripken Jr. said. 

The multipurpose space is one that caters to football, baseball, lacrosse and is even positioned to where Babe Ruth stood at home plate. 

"I think it's a demonstration of the support that this community continues to get projects like this off the ground and more importantly to keep them sustainable into the future," Kevin Vander Kolk, the president and CEO of Saint Agnes Healthcare, said. 

The park is the latest development on the 32-acre Gibbons Commons property to develop affordable housing and community and recreational services. 

"You weigh those costs against the opportunity for the future," Vander Kolk said. 

A future that's bright for kids in Baltimore and a foundation looking to brighten up a local community. 

"From a baseball perspective, I'm really happy about this place, but this, like so many other places, is an opportunity for kids to be productive, to be happy, to challenge themselves in a safe, productive space," Ripken Jr. said.