Taking Back Our Neighborhood: Manassas baseball field

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The baseball team at Manassas High School began play on a "field of dreams" this week.

Teamwork between some caring FedEx pilots, a motorcycle club and two Memphis churches resulted in a home run for Manassas High baseball players.

"It was a great idea to be able to give something back and to give these kids a home field to play on," said FedEx pilot Lamar Washington.

Until Monday, Manassas had no home field advantage because it had no home field.

"We played all road games," said Manassas baseball coach Dennis Paden.  "We didn't even have a facility to practice."

The field began to take shape when FedEx pilot Eric Lampelay's wife began clearing rocks from a field with Oasis of Hope, a ministry of Hope Presbyterian.

Lampelay told co-pilot Washington, who brought his motorcycle club to help rake up the rocks.

"There's a lot of interest and guys are always looking for an opportunity to do something good in the community," Washington said.

Volunteers from Hope Presbyterian and Bellevue Baptist Church graded the fields.  They donated sod and clay for the infield and pitcher's mound.

On opening day, Lampelay threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

At long last, the Tigers of Manassas took their home field against the Pharaohs of Raleigh-Egypt.

"It's just a blessing that we finally got a field," said Montrail Brown, Manassas baseball player.  "It's going to draw a crowd, and more people are going to play."

Paden said the field was a blessing for all involved.

"It's blessed the people who've built the field as much as the kids on the receiving end," Paden said.  "It really has been something magical."

The Manassas Tigers won their first game on their home field in the bottom of the 7th inning.

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