When Gary Hayes, pesident of Carlingwood-Frank Ryan Little League (CFR) recently proclaimed, “Henceforth, this baseball park will be known as “Lawrence Tapper Field,” he wrapped up one of the most exciting stories in the league's history.
Speaking at the dedication ceremony for CFR's spectacular new baseball diamond at Britannia Park, Hayes recalled that field improvement had been a long-standing objective. However, until Lawrence Tapper had provided initial funding that was matched by a City of Ottawa Self-Help Grant, the objective was nothing more than a dream.
Asked to explain why he had become a CFR benefactor, Tapper said, “Amateur sports are extremely important to the healthy development of young people, and we can encourage them to play baseball and softball by providing them with the best possible fields.”
As a further tangible example of his commitment to young people, Tapper has pledged to support the upgrading of another field at Britannia this year, and a further improvement project in the year 2000.
How great is Lawrence Tapper Field? According to Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson, “It's a beautiful ball diamond.” And Britannia-Richmond Ward Councillor, Ron Kolbus, said, “It's the best field in Ottawa.” In recognition of his support in obtaining matching funds from City Hall, Councillor Kolbus was given the honour of throwing out the first pitch at the field's dedication. His catcher for the occasion was Mayor Watson.
Thanks to its new first-class facility, CFR can now begin attracting a wider variety of significant Little League events. It hosted the Major League District Playdowns in July, and the Minor League Provincial Championships in August. Our Major League is comprised of 11 and 12 year-olds, while Minor League players are 9 and 10 years of age.
For exciting baseball action, all west enders are invited to Lawrence Tapper Field at Britannia Park. It's a fine opportunity to see what was accomplished by the dedicated CFR volunteers who actually built the new field, the volunteers who serve as coaches, umpires and in countless other ways, and the boys and girls who make the effort worthwhile for the entire community.
CFR president Gary Hayes greets Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Ron Kolbus at dedication ceremony.