OAKHURST – There’s a new baseball park in town! It may not have the historical significance of Wrigley Field in Chicago or Fenway Park in Boston (yet), but it’s right here in in our own town of Oakhurst.
Ted Lilly Park was dedicated on Friday, Nov. 1 as a tribute to professional baseball player, Ted Lilly, a well-known alumni of Oakhurst Elementary School (OES).
Over 300 OES “Eagles” and others gathered on the school’s ball diamond to pay tribute to the former student, who like many kids today, once played catch and shagged fly balls on the grass field.
OES 4th grader Mikey Ward had the honor of catching the famous ballplayer’s ceremonial first pitch on the field that now bears Lilly’s name.
Ted spoke to the kids about his days playing baseball with his friends on the grass at OES and growing up here in Oakhurst.
He also had this message for all the students: “It took hard work for me to become a baseball player. In fact, I never thought I’d make it to the major leagues. I love baseball. So whatever you do in life, whether it’s baseball or something else, love it!”
Ted fielded questions from the kids, posed for pictures, signed lots of autographs and could not have been more gracious.
He spent so much time with the kids and shared stories about his days at OES.
What I am most impressed about is Ted’s generosity to his community. He has never forgotten where he came from.
It’s refreshing to hear about a professional athlete who not only achieves his dream but also is charitable to the community that helped make his dream a reality.
OES wishes to thank Mrs. Robin Ward, fifth grade teacher at OES, for inviting Ted to visit.
We also want to thank Bill Ward, Jonas Garner and Jake Lehigh for their time volunteered installing new bases for all the students to enjoy playing baseball, wiffleball or kickball.
Kathleen Murphy is the Principal at Oakhurst Elementary School