More than $1500 dollars has been donated to turn a family's dream of a baseball park into a reality. An East Texas business stepped up and donated $1,000, while other members of the community have offered manual labor to build the field.
Rhonda Hamilton of Hallsville posted a picture of her deceased son's unfinished memorial baseball field on Facebook yesterday.
The abandoned field had initially been planned in memory of her son, who died in a car wreck 18 years ago.
The only work that was ever completed on the park was the scoreboard, which the family paid for themselves.
A baseball is stuck on the memorial and he is pictured wearing his uniform.
"He was on his way home from baseball practice and there was a car that pulled out from a side street and he was passing the car, swerved basically and was passing that car, and then ended up hitting a truck head on," Rhonda Hamilton said.
Moments later, he was gone. Ryan Hamilton was killed in 1995 at the age of 16.
"He was a very positive young man and just very loyal, with his friends, loved God, loved music, theater, loved baseball," she said.
That love of baseball is what motivated the community to build an additional baseball field in Ryan's name.
"Everyone in the entire community, they were doing wonderful, nice things, such as the thought of this field."
But that's all it was: a thought. Years went by and Ryan's field was forgotten.
"We come and we drive by and we look at the field; it just kind of hurts our hearts, really," his mother said.
The Hamilton's were left with the skeleton of a baseball field that meant so much.
"I think they worked really hard on the field for a while, the original group, they had wonderful intentions, they had plans for a big opening ceremony, and they were going to bring in some friends of my husband's who played professional ball to kind of kick it off."
Big plans and hopes of a happier, more permanent memorial than the one that sits at the side of the road.
"To see other children on this field, with his name on it, it just represents hope, it represents faith in people, it represents all the goodness that was poured out to us in those first few days," she said.
Now, 18 years later, that hope is renewed and Rhonda is rooting for the community to come back swinging.
Jones Communications of Longview made the $1,000 donation to help with the field's construction, but the family says they still need money to complete the field and put up lights. If you would like to donate to help finally build Ryan's field, click here.
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