Beginning to leave home because of COVID-19 guidelines, more than 200 Smyrna residents, public officials, contractors and honorees assembled to cut the ribbon last Wednesday at the new, tournament quality, four-field Cedar Stone Community Park baseball complex.
The new facility is located on Morton Lane near the Stewarts Creek Schools. The youth baseball fields have artificial turf. There is also a nearby playground with sidewalks and lots of parking in the 80-acre complex.
The four fields were named for, long-serving members of the community: Kenneth “Coon” Victory, H.G. Cole, Ginny Olerud Williams and Frank E. Crosslin Jr. Each of the four honorees made a “first pitch” to a current youth baseball player to open the facility.
Each of the honorees had served as a Town of Smyrna Parks & Recreation Commissioner.
The park, on Smyrna’s southwest side, has been in the town’s master plan since 1997, and has survived two economic downturns on the road to its realization.
“We are excited about everything that’s going on with this park; it’s been a long time coming.” Parks & Recreation Director Mike Moss said. “We are giving the Smyrna Baseball League a new home.”
Town Manager Brian Hercules said Cedar Stone Park is the first completely new park in Smyrna in 35 years.
“I am so excited to be here today and celebrate the completing of our newest park.” Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed said. “We have such a great recreation department and great fields. What you see here is one of the first youth baseball complexes in the state with an entirely synthetic turf surface. We are really proud of that.”
Reed said she remembered playing sports when she was growing up in Smyrna, sometimes in fields that were just pastures.
“I bet long-time residents never thought they’d see such a fine facility in Smyrna in their lifetime and I think they are really proud about that. To be able to bring their children and grandchildren and now even their great-grandchildren out to play ball on fields like this is something they’re pretty excited about,” she said.
Youth participation each year in Smyrna (population 50,000) sports leagues is about 5,000 kids.