By Dillon Thomas

2022 UPDATE: Highly Publicized Efforts To Repair Kennedy High School’s Baseball Field Fall Flat

DENVER (CBS4) – With the MLB All Star Game scheduled to fill the seats at Coors Field next month, so too comes the opportunity for the Denver metro area to improve courtesy of Major League Baseball. Through the Legacy Project the MLB has infused nearly $200 million back in to communities since its inception in the late 1990s.

As part of the Legacy Project, John F. Kennedy High School in Denver will be the home of the newest softball and baseball fields in the state. The MLB, Colorado Rockies and Denver Public Schools teamed up to redesign and rejuvenate the school’s dissolving facilities.

(credit: CBS)

“This is the original field when the school was first built in the 60’s. It has had a lot of wear and tear over the years,” said Rick Brewer, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at JFK. “There’s a few potholes out in the outfield. We have suffered a few ankles.”

Recently the baseball team has been playing their games at parks or other schools because the field at JFK was deemed too dangerous.

“We got to a point where it was completely unplayable,” said John Andrew, District Athletic Director. “They were road warriors.

Head baseball and softball coach Faafetai Ilaoa said he was ecstatic his program was selected as part of the Legacy Project.

“I’m so excited,” Ilaoa said. “It is going to be amazing.”

Ilaoa’s son, also named Faafetai, said he was happy for his peers who will be able to play on the new fields. He recently graduated after playing his senior season on the road.

“Finishing out my year in high school with no home field. We were always moving around from field to field,” Ilaoa said.

There will be multiple other organizations and services that will benefit from the MLB’s contributions.

(credit: CBS)

“They leave a legacy of projects within the community. That stays long after the game leaves,” said Kim Kellog of the Colorado Rockies.

“We know this community is going to be excited about the new ball field,” Brewer said.

“(I will be) be happy to see we have a new field and it is nice. Maybe more kids will come here,” said Adam Roybal, a student athlete.

The work on the baseball and softball fields will begin Thursday June 17. The project is expected to be completed by July 9, and the MLB commissioner could be expected to attend the re-opening.

“When the community sees what we’re doing and Major League Baseball is doing we hope kindness trickles down. And, we hope is spreads more kindness in the world,” Kellog said.

Dillon Thomas