Legacy of Athens man who died recently living on through his Field of Dreams

Legacy of Athens man who died recently living on through his Field of Dreams
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 11:28 PM CDT

ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - If you build it, they will come. That was the lifelong dream of David Cornelius of Athens, who died this month at the age of 41 after a battle with leukemia. Before his diagnosis, he built an entire baseball field on his property, fit with dugouts, a scoreboard, and even a concession stand.

“I thought he was crazy, but somebody as ambitious as he was, there was no stopping him,” said Tim Wilson, a friend of Cornelius.

Cornelius started his own travel sports league, Triple Play Sports, to help pay for the field.

“Anybody you ever speak to about Dave, you know he cared for everybody, he’ll do anything for you,” said Wilson. “Everything is about the kids when it comes to him and his family.”

One of his final requests was for his funeral to be held on the field he built.

“He was talking about it in the hospital, that he wanted to have it out on the baseball field, I mean this was his dream, so that’s what we wanted to do for him,” said his son David Cornelius, Jr.

The family has plans to live out David’s dream further by planting corn in the outfield and adding lights so kids can play after dark. Triple Play Sports Park is used by youth baseball participants in the Athens area and hosts travel tournaments.