Miami-Dade County Parks to Join Miami-Dade County District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata in Paying Tribute to a Champion for Youth Baseball
Residents are invited to join the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. as they dedicate and name baseball field #5 at Tamiami Park as “Ovidio Acosta Baseball Field.” The ball field will be named in memory of the late Ovidio Acosta who guided the successful Miami Friends Baseball Association youth baseball program at the park for the past 27 years. The field naming is the result of a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Zapata.
“This is a wonderful tribute for someone who had a profound commitment to community service. Acosta worked tirelessly to ensure that all kids were afforded the opportunity to play baseball,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
“There is no other name more fitting for this field. Acosta was the heart and soul of youth baseball at Tamiami Park and a source of inspiration to the thousands of young baseball players that he mentored over the years. He encouraged everyone to follow their dreams and be their personal best on and off the field. I am delighted that he will be honored in this way and that this field will always stand as a reminder of a man who did so much for this community and for baseball” said Commissioner Zapata.
The Cuban-born Acosta was both founder and President of the Miami Friends Baseball Association until his death in April this year. He established the local non-profit corporation in 1989 to provide baseball programs for kids ages 4-17. Miami Friends began its first year with 13 teams and 124 participants, and by 2012 there were 98 teams and 1,201 participants. Acosta spearheaded several improvement efforts for the baseball fields at Tamiami Park and a financial assistance program to afford every child the opportunity to play baseball.
“Acosta ran one of the most impressive and successful youth baseball programs that this community has ever seen,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys. “His generous, supportive and nurturing demeanor made him beloved and respected by coaches, baseball-playing kids and parents alike. His legacy of love for baseball and his community is sure to live on.”
Over the years, Acosta and the Miami Friends received numerous awards and accolades for their achievements, including recognition from Miami-Dade County in 1992, 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2010; the City of Sweetwater in 1993; and a Diamond Award from United to Serve America in 2002.
Tamiami Park is located at 11201 SW 24 Street, Miami. For directions to the event and information about youth baseball leagues, ball field rentals and other recreational opportunities at Tamiami Park visit www.miamidade.gov/parks or call 786-315-5295.
About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.
Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities. For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit www.miamidade.gov/parks_foundation.
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