Bellevue Vets Baseball Field Begins $250,000 Renovation
The baseball field at Bellevue Vets is now in the midst of a major makeover thanks to a partnership with the Cincinnati Reds and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
A groundbreaking was held at what will now be known as St. Elizabeth Healthcare Field at the Bellevue Vets on Tuesday.
The revamped complex will include a new synthetic turf field, a "Palace of the Fans" backstop structure, new dugouts, fencing, scoreboard, and press box.
St. E's Chief Operating Officer Gary Blank presented a check for $250,000 to help with the renovation efforts, alongside Reds Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini and Bellevue Vets president Terry Hatton.
“St. Elizabeth Healthcare has been a proud supporter of the Cincinnati Reds and Reds Community Fund,” said Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth President and CEO. “St. Elizabeth and the Reds both are tremendous supporters of the local community. We congratulate the Reds on their 150th anniversary and look forward to continuing to partner with them in the future. Part of the St. Elizabeth legacy includes our strong ongoing support of schools and student-athletes through our sports medicine and athletic training programs in 23 local schools. Our financial investment in the Bellevue Vets field and providing 200 volunteers to help with the field project later this summer, is a further extension of St. Elizabeth’s vision to lead Northern Kentucky to become one of the healthiest communities in America.”
Many of the project’s partners, such as Pepper Construction, the Cincinnati Zoo, MSA Design, Motz Group, Duke Energy and the Milburn Family Foundation, participated in the ceremony as well.
Also present were Reds Hall of Famers and Northern Kentucky residents Tommy Helms and Tom Browning.
The ceremony took place prior to the Bellevue High School vs. Calvary Christian game, a fitting tie-in since the renovated field will serve as the home field for Bellevue High’s team.
“This is an exciting day for the Reds, Reds Community Fund and the City of Bellevue,” said Castellini. “Thanks to St. Elizabeth Healthcare for the tremendous support on many levels. They are a leader in our region and this project will have a lasting impact on the Bellevue community.”
This field renovation will serve as one of two “Legacy Projects” the Reds Community Fund is overseeing in 2019 as part of celebrating the 150th anniversary of Baseball’s First Professional Team – the 1869 Red Stockings. The second Legacy Project will be at Ross Park in St. Bernard, with a groundbreaking scheduled for Tuesday, April 30.
“We’ve been working with these two communities and our project partners since last fall,” said Reds Community Fund executive director, Charley Frank. “It’s exciting to finally be underway, although we’ll wait until the end of the high school seasons in May to begin construction in earnest.”
In addition to the tie-in with St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s continuing community efforts in Northern Kentucky, this project has connections to two Bellevue families.
The press box at the new high school field will be named in honor of Tom and Leo Groeschen. Tom was a longtime Greater Cincinnati sportswriter who passed away in November. His father Leo was a Red Sox draft pick and prospect before serving in the Korean War. Leo was also a legendary coach at Bellevue Vets.
The renovated T-ball field will be named for Army Spc. Russell Madden, who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.
Russell and Tom both played on youth teams at the Bellevue Vets complex as kids.
The new St. Elizabeth Healthcare Field is expected to be officially dedicated on Thursday, August 15.