On a sunny spring day, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver opened the expanded Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex with a first pitch.
An Opening Day event took place earlier this spring to celebrate the completion of the complex expansion. High school baseball and softball players paraded onto Field 5 before Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism Director Steve Miller spoke about the project.
"Over the last year and a half, we have invested more than $3 million in this facility, renovating this field that you're on, building brand new fields and adding many other park amenities to make this the best baseball/softball facility in the state of Maryland, and arguably in the region," Miller said.
As part of the expansion, three new baseball/softball fields were created, bringing the complex's total to eight diamonds, and one of the existing fields – Field 5, where the Opening Day ceremony was held – was rebuilt to feature a synthetic turf infield. Other additions include new press boxes, scoreboards, concession stands, and batting cages.
The complex is home to community recreation programs, as well as events like the United States Specialty Sports Association Eastern National Championships, which makes its 12th appearance at the facility this summer. The complex will also host the Youth Baseball Nationals tournament, coming to Wicomico County for the first time this year.
In addition to the more than $30 million economic impact of regional and national events, Miller said there will be plenty of opportunities for local residents to use the fields, including for high school and Eastern Shore Baseball League games, along with youth and adult softball and adult kickball.
"We're just so thrilled to be able to offer this to the citizens as a benefit to our community," Miller said.
To learn more about the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex, visit WicoSports.org.