Killebrew Miracle League Field becoming a reality in Payette
PAYETTE, Idaho (KBOI) - Crews broke ground Friday on a new baseball field in Payette in memory of hometown baseball legend Harmon Killebrew.
When it's finished, the Harmon Killebrew Miracle League Field of Payette will become a place where children with disabilities can come to play the game. People in Payette say this field will carry his legacy into the future.
One of Killebrew's last wishes was to see a Miracle League Field built in Payette. Now, nearly three years later, his dreams are becoming a reality. But before he passed away, he thought it might take a miracle for it to happen.
"Harmon was a little skeptical for a farming community of 7,500 people to raise funds of $250,000-$400,000 to have a Miracle League field," field president Craig Jensen said. "I told his wife if that was his dream and that's your dream, we'll get it done."
Years later, ground is being broken, and the Harmon Killebrew Miracle League Field of Payette can officially be called a dream come true.
"I think it's really a neat deal," his brother, Bob Killebrew said.
Bob said he strikes out trying to describe the late baseball great.
"I can't," he said. "If you go through all of the things that he has accomplished and all of the things through all of the years that he has done, no, it's very difficult. 573 home runs? How do you explain that?"
But people in Payette say that Killebrew's kind heart was more impressive than any statistic or record that he broke while in uniform.
"Everybody has a good opinion of him and it's pretty amazing to find out how well he was loved as a human being," Jensen said. "A great baseball player, but also a great humanitarian."
This special field will let children with disabilities take a swing at playing his favorite game. It will feature a soft, but durable surface that's similar to astroturf and is safe for wheelchairs, walkers and crutches.
Even though "the killer" himself won't ever step up to bat on this special field, his brother Bob still sits in the stands, proud of him as ever.
"It's very, like I say very inspiring and it's really a super neat deal," Bob Killebrew said.
The board still needs to raise around $100,000 before they can actually start working on the field, but say they are on track to have it ready by summer 2015.