LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Does Little Oaks Ball Park ring a bell?
It was once a thriving park in Mabelvale, but years of abandonment left it hidden under feet of overgrowth.
But now, the Arkansas Travelers are on a mission to change that.
“Little Oaks Ball Park, people spent a lot of time here,” said Ross Meeks, Arkansas Travelers president. “It’s a nice park, but it’s been run down and neglected.”
But back in the day, the park hosted major leaguers like former Chicago Cub, World Series champ, and Bryant native, Travis Wood.
"Many memories were made at this park,” said Meeks. “We want to get it back up and running.”
Little Oaks has been left in silence for 15 years now.
The Travelers partnered with ECHO Tuesday to renovate the park.
They worked hours to tame the foliage gone wild, making the bases visible again, and cleaning up around the bleachers.
"I've got a lot of good memories out here with my kids,” said Blair Ragsdale, member of the Mabelvale Youth Association. "There used to be a sand pile back over on that field; it’s where all the little girls would build sand castles. And this is the only ball park I was ever thrown out of watching my kids play.”
Families across Arkansas have their own memories from Little Oaks, and the Travelers hope kids these days can soon make their own memories.
"Having something for kids in a neighborhood is going to be important for kids here,” said Meeks.
The Travelers donated time, resources, and $4,000 to get the fields in working order.
There are three fields, and by the end of Friday, one should be completely ready to play ball on.
The Mabelvale Youth Association is in charge of the park.
The goal now is to bring back a baseball program for neighborhood kids, and they are seeking volunteers to help with upkeep.
You can contact Mabelvale United Methodist Church for more details about how you can help.