Fielder, Weeks help renovate inner city Milwaukee baseball field

CREATED Apr 26, 2012

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  • Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE - Although Prince Fielder is no longer a Milwaukee Brewer, his legacy lives on in Milwaukee's youth baseball programs.

After winning MVP at the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, the former Brewers first baseman received a $40,000 donation to be used to help inner city baseball leagues.

James Beckum cut the ribbon at the newly-renamed James Beckum Park at the corner of North 6th and West Brown Streets in Milwaukee.

It underwent a major facelift thanks to Fielder, current Brewers All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks and government organizations.

The organization Diamonds and Dreams gave Fielder the donation, which he then gave to a Milwaukee County Park previously named Carver Park.

"I was shocked, surprised and glad," said Beckum, the 83-year-old man behind the diamond.  He started little league baseball in Milwaukee in 1964.

The program at that park is still going strong, despite a deteriorating field.

"They hit a grand slam home run.  Seriously, it couldn't have been a better project and a more needy place," explained Beckum.

Crews replaced the diamond with new grass, dirt and bases.

Beyond Fielder's donation, the Milwaukee County Parks Department bought new bats and helmets.

Weeks donated two scoreboards and is adding a third, while the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources planted 30 trees.

"I wanted my kids to have a good field to play on," said Beckum.

Now, they do, thanks to Fielder, Weeks, state and county government and James Beckum, the hero behind it all.

"It's not about the diamond," explained Beckum.  "It's about what's going to happen on the diamond."