By Ken Williams | Editor
More than 10 months after an aging water main broke and destroyed big chunks of Ted Williams Field in North Park, city officials held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Oct. 5 to celebrate the reopening of the baseball diamond.
“We’re ready to play ball,” said District 3 Councilmember Chris Ward, who added that he couldn’t wait to see kids using the ballfield again.
The water main break in early January sent up a geyser in the middle of the ballfield — located between Idaho and Oregon streets and south of Polk Avenue — and flooded houses and garages in a seven-block area. City workers had to dig up and replace the underground pipe before the ballfield could be repaired.
Andy Field, assistant director for the city’s Park and Recreation Department, noted that new sod, irrigation and electrical systems were installed.
Field said the surrounding area was beautified with drought-tolerant landscaping, including outside the North Park Recreation Center along Idaho Street.
The ballfield is named after baseball legend Ted Williams, who was born on Aug. 30, 1918 in San Diego and grew up in North Park. The slugger played his entire career with the Boston Red Sox, and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame. He also was the manager of the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers. Williams died on July 5, 2002, at the age of 83.