A foundation created by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has donated more than $3 million to the district for a new baseball and softball complex at the high school he attended in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Mlive.com reports that the Derek Jeter Field Complex at Kalamazoo Central High School will be completely renovated with new seating, new dugouts and synthetic turf. The project is scheduled to be completed by late spring 2021
The $3.2 million gift is coming from the Turn 2 Foundation, which is run by Jeter's sister, Sharlee Jeter.
“The revitalized baseball and softball fields will allow us to provide young people in Kalamazoo with a fantastic space where they can partake in constructive, healthy activities while learning valuable life lessons,” Sharlee Jeter says in a school district news release. “We’re proud to give back to a place that means so much to our family."
Derek Jeter says: “Growing up playing baseball in Kalamazoo is how I realized my passion for the game, and it’s where I began the road to pursuing my dreams of playing professionally. This project is very special to me, and I’m excited to work with the community to create an environment that will inspire local youth to work hard to achieve their full potential and accomplish their goals.”
The baseball field will have a synthetic turf field with new sub-base and drainage system, and the softball field will have a new clay infield and synthetic turf outfield with sub-base and drainage system.
The fields will be reoriented so that batters will face the pitching mound in the northeast, which will minimize the effect of low afternoon and evening sun on players’ vision.
Both fields will include:
• New elevated aluminum grandstand bleachers
• New pre-cast concrete dugouts
• New galvanized fencing, backstop and foul poles
• New press boxes
The project costs also cover a new clay infield and natural grass practice field, handicap-accessible restrooms and handicap-accessible parking.
Jeter graduated from Kalamazoo Central in 1992 and played for the Yankees from 1995 to 2014. He now is a part-owner of the Miami Marlins.