PEI

Blue Jays go to bat for Bedeque as community builds 'state-of-the-art' diamond

It doesn’t look like much now, but baseball players in Bedeque, P.E.I., could be hitting home runs and catching fly balls at a fancy new baseball field by the end of the summer thanks in part to the Toronto Blue Jays.

P.E.I. community receives $90K from Jays Care Foundation

The new baseball field will be located here on Route 1A in Central Bedeque. (Shane Ross/CBC)

It doesn't look like much now, but baseball players in Bedeque, P.E.I., could be hitting home runs and catching fly balls at a fancy new baseball field by the end of the summer thanks in part to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Construction on the new field began last fall and is expected to resume this month, said Ryan McKenna, co-president of the Bedeque and Area Minor Baseball Association

"The goal of the project was to bring a state-of-art facility here to the community in Bedeque and hopefully attract some national tournaments along the way. We want to make it as nice of a field as possible and we're on our way there."

On Friday, the Jays Care Foundation, a charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays, officially announced Bedeque as one of 14 recipients across Canada that will receive funding through the Field of Dream Program.

Bedeque will receive $90,000 from the foundation. The P.E.I. government is contributing $100,000.

Players in Bedeque currently play at another field in the community and others in the surrounding area, including Kowalski Park in Freetown.

Some baseball teams in Bedeque play at Kowalski Field in nearby Freetown. (Shane Ross/CBC)

The new field will give players in the U-15 league and above another place to play as the sport continues to grow and for people to gather.

"It's also creating a great hub for the community as well with a beautiful walking trail along the perimeter and down the sidewalk of Linkletter Avenue," McKenna said. "I just think overall it is a really exciting project for the community."

The other communities who received funding for from the Jays Foundation are:

  • Bedeque, P.E.I. – Bedeque & Area Minor Baseball Association.
  • Dartmouth, N.S. – Diamond Dawgs Baseball Club.
  • Tobique First Nation, N.B. – Mah-Sos School.
  • La Pocatière, Que. – Association de baseball mineur de La Pocatière
  • Blind River, Ont. – Town of Blind River.
  • Forest, Ont. – Forest Minor Baseball Association.
  • Gananoque, Ont. – Town of Gananoque.
  • Kenora, Ont. – Kenora Chiefs Advisory.
  • Ottawa, Ont. – South Ottawa Little League.
  • St. Mary's, Ont. – Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
  • Toronto, Ont. – Variety Village.
  • Toronto, Ont. – West Hill Baseball League.
  • Moosomin, Sask. – Moosomin Minor Ball Association.
  • Beaumont, Alta. – Beaumont Minor Baseball Association.

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