Cajon de Oro Little League opens T-Ball field

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Baseball is a family affair. And while San Diegans of all ages find themselves enjoying Padres games or the local high school playoff match, most baseball lovers find their beginnings on a Little League field.

That is why Cajon De Oro Little League’s new T-ball field is such an exciting addition to the community, said Cory Thiem, a board member of CDO. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new field took place on June 10 and christened the beginning of the next generation of Little Leaguers.

Baseball is a family affair. And while San Diegans of all ages find themselves enjoying Padres games or the local high school playoff match, most baseball lovers find their beginnings on a Little League field.

That is why Cajon De Oro Little League’s new T-ball field is such an exciting addition to the community, said Cory Thiem, a board member of CDO. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new field took place on June 10 and christened the beginning of the next generation of Little Leaguers.

Thiem said the hope is that the rookie field, which is right across from the minor league field on Russell Road, will inspire younger children to grab a glove and get out and play.

“It’s designed to get the kids involved at a younger level,” he said. “And then they can see Russell Road, so it’s like a Field of Dreams.”

Build it and they will come.

This particular field has been in the works for the last three years. Joanna Harris, president of the Fuerte Recreation Club, said the land is part of a charter meant to provide safe, open spaces for children to play along Russell Road. Fuerte Recreation Club maintains the charter and up until recently part of the land housed a horse corral for children with disabilities. Harris said after the corral closed, CDO submitted a proposal to use the land to build the T-ball field.

“It looks great, everybody’s super happy with it,” said Harris.

CDO President Josh Bailey said he hopes the additional field will help garner members by providing a more exciting experience.

“At the younger level, it really depends on parent’s enthusiasm,” he said. “That’s why we try to build nice facilities because it makes it more enjoyable for the kids and the families.”

There are 17 teams in CDO, from the T-ballers to the majors and Bailey said it is an intimate community of baseball fans.

“We’re a smaller league,” he said. “It’s just the geography of our area, because we’re not a tight, inner-city population. But we have close, tight-knit families.”

Thiem, who played on Russell Road in the mid-70s back when it was still a major’s field, said Little League is a community sport.

“I still have friends [from CDO] I grew up with who went to different schools,” he said. “Those are friendships that are going to last a lifetime.”

Harris said the development with CDO’s rookie field has been a good one. Because there just are not many open areas in the surrounding neighborhoods for kids to play safely, the Russell Road land charter is a gem for the community, she said.

“Obviously, everyone who lives on Russell Road is super is thrilled to have that open space on our road,” said Harris. “We all take a lot of pride and feel very blessed that it’s there.”