Program to turn James Beckum Park into Major League diamond

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MILWAUKEE -- As MVP of the 2011 All Star game, former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder was given a unique opportunity to select an inner-city youth baseball field to turn into a "field of dreams," and Chevrolet's Diamonds and Dreams program would pay for it.

With the help of the Milwaukee County Parks System, the newly-named James Beckum Park on the north half of Carver Park on West Brown Street was chosen to receive a Major League diamond.

James Beckum was on hand at the park named after him on Thursday, April 26th, doing the ribbon-cutting honors. Beckum started the Beckum-Stapleton Little League back in 1964 and has been a coach, mentor, father and role model to countless children.

"Every time I'm with him he teaches me a life lesson about giving back, and he has a very strong faith, and I'm just so proud of him and I'm happy. This park is going to be here forever, and he's touched so many kid's lives forever," Milwaukee County Parks Director Sue Black said.

Now, kids will have a big league field to play on with the equipment to match, and more help from a different Brewers player. Rickie Weeks put up two scoreboards at the field and has committed to putting up a third.

James Beckum field is one of 25 fields across the state of Wisconsin Chevrolet has revamped. "Youth baseball is one of the foundations, I think, of any community - to teach sportsmanship, to teach teamwork and so many of the values you need in later life," Andrew Schlesinger, president of Andrew Chevrolet said.

"I can only see this park growing and more kids coming in it and enjoying a good life. So we're hoping you will come and visit us, watch the kids play and see the growth," Beckum said.

The Brewers donated 30 trees to the park, and the landscape will grow with the kids. Students helped workers plant the 30 trees in the park to commemorate Arbor Day.

James Beckum Park was named after Mr. Beckum in March.

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