Harlem RBI - Build it and ...By Jose B. Rivera
East Harlem - April 16, 2005. The saying goes “Build it and they will come”. And Harlem, RBI has done just that. Mr. Richie Berlin and Harlem RBI have made the nearly impossible come true. With numerous dignitaries, politicians and community leaders present, the new Harlem RBI “Field of Dreams” baseball field was re-opened. A field whose existence was not so assured not too long ago.
The Field of Dreams was originally allocated to Harlem RBI with the understanding that when housing development became a possibility, that the field would give way to housing. But that would have left community youngsters and Harlem RBI without a baseball field.
Mr. Berlin and his supporters did not accept the fact that they would have to vacate their beloved field. They fought back and they fought back long and hard. They garnered the support of the community and together they tenaciously petitioned anyone who would listen about the baseball field.
It took a a while and many large and small battles, but in the end Harlem RBI was able to keep their field. A new and improved field complete with an irrigation system, brick dugouts, a batting cage and a walk of fame listing their supports.
And the community is better off with the field now a permanent structure, presence in it. Congratulations on a job well done, Mr. Berlin and all who made this beautiful field possible.