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It’s batter up at the newly named Richard Saunders Field

August 3 2016

“Richard Saunders is a volunteer extraordinaire and has done much for the game of baseball in Vancouver. Volunteers are essential to youth baseball and the entire community benefits,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

New field, new name for 2016 tournament

If you’re a little league baseball player, there’s no place like home … or the newly named Richard Saunders Field.

The field was recently renovated and is opening in time for the 2016 Little League Canadian Championship tournament during August 4 to 13.

The Vancouver Park Board officially named the main baseball field at Hastings Community Park Richard Saunders Field and a rookie baseball field Volunteer Field at a July 25th Board meeting PDF file (430 KB).

Volunteers honoured

“Richard Saunders is a volunteer extraordinaire and has done much for the game of baseball in Vancouver. Volunteers are essential to youth baseball and the entire community benefits,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

“It’s a Board priority to encourage active lifestyles and promote community participation. It’s an honour to name the baseball field after Richard and all volunteers.”

Richard Saunders

Saunders has volunteered for 32 years in little league baseball starting as a parent and coach. He is currently vice president of the Hastings Community Little League, tournament chair of the 2016 Canadian Little League Championship Tournament and assistant District Six administrator for Little League BC.

He also raised money for baseball field renovations that led to a significant increase in the number of children playing baseball and played a key role in having the league host the upcoming championship tournament.

“Richard’s many years of service and leadership led to significant success for Hastings Community Little League which represented Canada at the Little League World Series in both 2009 and 2012,” said Hastings Community Little League President Kevin Clegg.

Field upgrades

The Hastings Community Little League approached the Board in May with a request to name the two fields in tribute to Richard Saunders and the many other volunteers. With the support of the Jays Care Foundation and the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), the league raised $306,000 towards the recent field upgrades. The Park Board spent $680,000 to demolish the old field and redevelop the baseball diamonds to modern standards.

Little League Canadian Championship Tournament

The Little League Canadian Championship tournament involves seven teams with players’ aged 11 and 12 years old, representing six regions across Canada, as well as the host Hastings Community Little League team. The teams are competing for the right to represent Canada at the annual Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Parks' naming policy

The Hastings fields were named as part of the Park Board’s Commemorative Naming Policy PDF file (120 KB) that is a framework for naming community facilities in honour of outstanding achievement, distinctive service, or significant community contribution, generally without financial consideration.