Police, fire and rescue officers suit up for game as part of effort to upgrade 91-year-old Oak Lawn park
The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire and Rescue will square off in a baseball game at Oak Lawn’s Reverchon Park on Saturday afternoon.
The 2006 Reverchon Park Baseball Classic will benefit Friends of Reverchon Park, a nonprofit group that is raising money to upgrade the 91-year-old, 46-acre city park. A community fair featuring the mounted police, K-9 units, the fire and safety house, antique fire trucks and police cars and food and drink will precede the ball game.
Linda White, a spokeswoman for the one-year-old charitable group, said the coordinators hope to establish an annual event to attract visitors to the park who will be interested in helping restore it and use it. The baseball game is the group’s latest fundraising effort, she said.
The group hopes to eventually raise $15 million for the park’s restoration.
The park originally was envisioned as Dallas’ Central Park.
“We’ve put a little spunk in it,” White said. “We hope it will become an annual game. We have a really nice trophy that will go back and forth.”
White said the group wants people from all over the city to come and see the Oak Lawn Park, which is located at the intersection of Turtle Creek Boulevard and Maple Avenue.
“Anything we can do to get people down here and into the neighborhood and see all it has to offer I think is great,” White said.
The city’s 2003 bond package provided for $2 million in planned improvements to the park. A new ramp from the ball field parking lot to the Katy Trail is almost complete.
White said one of the first projects the group wants to fund is a restoration of the ball field so the proceeds of the game will go to that effort. The group wants to add a new scoreboard, concession stand, lights and restrooms and get it designated as a historic site.
“We’re trying to redo the whole park, but we can only do a little at a time,” White said. “We’re starting with the ball field because so many people know about it.”
The ball field has been used for city leagues and high school games since its construction, and it was the site of a big league exhibition game between the Cleveland Indians and New York Giants in 1953.
White said City Council members Pauline Medrano, whose district includes the park, Angela Hunt and Ed Oakley are expected to attend the event. Medrano said she is excited about the prospects of revitalizing the park.
Medrano said she is proud of Dallas police and fire rescue officers who are volunteering their time for the event: “We’re all working together to make our park the most beautiful in Dallas safe and clean,” Medrano said. “All of Dallas can partake of Reverchon, but we want to be proud of it because it is in Oak Lawn.”
White said the group would continue hosting the baseball game between the police and fire rescue officers as long as they are willing to participate. Oak Lawn’s Lee Park is known for the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and Rally and the Easter Celebration so perhaps Reverchon can become known for sports, she said.
“We’re hoping Reverchon will kind of be thought of as the place to go play baseball as well as other things,” White said. “The park I think is going to become a much more important part of the scenery.
The community fair will be held Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with a pre-game show and baseball game to follow. The community fair is free. Game tickets are $5 for adults and $10 for families. For more information visit www.reverchonparkfriends.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 20, 2006.