The Wall of Fame
April 28, 2001 - Dedication of the "New" Wall of Fame
When Sam Bryen fields were built back in 1981, the architect wanted to add something to the project that would make the complex stand out. They wanted a feature that would invoke a sense of pride in the Little League program and also be unique to the Brookline baseball/softball community.
After some thought, they decided upon a triumphal archway at the entrance to the fields. The archway would be both a beautiful entranceway and also a monument to the Brookline Little League Association.
At the peak of the archway are placards citing both the Little League Pledge (front) and a quote from Abraham Lincoln (back). The quote from President Lincoln reads, "From the ranks of youngsters who stand now on the morning side of the hill will come the leaders, the future strength and character of the nation." How very true, Mr. President.
To the side of the archway is a wall with hollowed spaces for bronze plaques denoting the winners of the various age groups, beginning with the 1981 season. Those who have won titles over the past 20 or so years will find their teams name etched in bronze for the rest of time. It is an interesting look back at past champions, and a source of pride for the youngsters who worked hard to earn the honor of having their accomplishment immortalized.
In the spring of 2001, the city of Pittsburgh embarked on some major renovations to the fixtures in Brookline Park, and for the first time in 20 years, the archway was given a touchup. The blue stucco facing was replaced with nice graffiti resistant bricks and the edging was redone with green aluminum sheeting. The result was just fantastic!
In addition to the wall resurfacing, improvements were made to McGibbeny Field and ground was broken on a new T-Ball field to replace the old tennis courts. New dugouts were installed on both the baseball and softball diamonds and all structures were painted. Future improvements to Brookline Park include a facelift for the swimming pool fixtures and a major renovation of the Recreation Center building. All told the cost of the improvements run to nearly a half a million dollars.
On April 28, 2001, a beautiful spring day, the Little League kicked off the new season with their annual parade, and to coincide with this occasion, city dignitaries were on hand to dedicate the new Wall of Fame and the other park improvements.
Once the throng of parents and kids reached Sam Bryen fields, everyone gathered around the renovated archway for some special remarks. On hand to address the crowd were Mayor Tom Murphy, State Representative Michael Diven, City-Council President Bob O'Conner and Councilman Jim Motznik. Other speakers included General Services Director Dale Perrett, and CitiParks Directors Duane Ashley and Mike Radley.
The special guests all discussed the importance of organized sports for our community children and praised the many volunteers that generously donate their time to make it all possible. Their attention then turned to the myriad of ongoing improvements to Brookline Park, gifts from the city which will benefit Brookliners for years to come.
Through the tireless work of the above mentioned officials, and many city laborers, our park is undergoing a substantial facelift. When it is over, Brookline Park will be a showcase for all the City, the standard by which future city parks will be judged by, and today was a day for our community to celebrate.
* Photos and article by Clint Burton *
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