Memorial baseball field to be finished after 19 years - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Memorial baseball field to be finished after 19 years

HALLSVILLE, TX (KLTV) - It has been 19 years and a baseball field that was supposed to be dedicated to an East Texas teen killed in a car wreck, is finally set to be finished after all this time.

We first told you about Ryan Hamilton field in August 2013 when Ryan’s mother spoke to us about the heartbreak of seeing her son’s memorial go unfinished. The only work that was ever completed on the abandoned field was the scoreboard, which the family paid for themselves.

Monday, one East Texas business presented the Hallsville Baseball Association with a $25,000 check to pay for the completion of that field. Ryan’s father, who taught Ryan to play said Ryan would have loved this field.

“We know that he would definitely approve,” Ron Hamilton said. “If he were here he’d definitely be excited about it.”

Excitement is a feeling the Hamilton’s lost long ago, when that field that meant so much, was never finished due to financial setbacks.

“It was always kind of disheartening, to tell you the truth,” Rhonda Hamilton, Ryan’s mother, said. “When we would come out because it was in such bad shape and his name was there and it wasn’t a good reflection on him.”

Their excitement was renewed after Guaranty Bond Bank heard the story of the forgotten field and pledged $25,000 to finish it.

“It impacts families and kids in just a positive manor and we wanted to be a part of that,” Dan Herrington, the Senior Vice President at the Hallsville bank location, said. “We picked this project because we thought we could make the most difference right here in town.”

Construction is set to start over the weekend and opening day is scheduled for 2015.

“It feels like we’re really accomplishing something and completing the park and completing something with a young man’s name on it that means so much to this community,” Mac Soules, the Vice President of the Hallsville Baseball Association, said.

“Well, it just means everything. Ryan loved baseball, he was a wonderful kid, and he’s not here to build his own legacy and this is part of his legacy,” Ryan’s mother explained.

Ron Hamilton spent a lot of time at that same park coaching and teaching his son to play until the day he was killed.

“It was Ryan’s favorite sport, so, you know, it was also what I played in college, so it was a great bonding situation for he and I,” Ryan’s father said.

And now, with a completion date of June, the memorial they had long awaited is just around the corner.

“People have really come together and worked as a community,” Ryan’s mother said.

That community is now full of excitement for an opening day 19 years in the making.

The field will be totally finished except for lights. Ryan Hamilton Field will be used only for day games until enough money is raised for lights.

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