Today, the Washington Nationals Philanthropies announced that development has begun on the organization’s fourth Legacy Field carrying the name of a current or former Washington Nationals player. The project, supported in part through financial contributions from Max and Erica Scherzer, is located in a community hub in the Ward 8 neighborhood of Washington Highlands.
The field will serve as one piece of a redevelopment project that will transform the Ferebee-Hope site into a multi-use education and recreation complex that will feature a new high school, indoor recreation center, and extensive outdoor spaces including a baseball diamond, football field, basketball court, community garden, and playground. The 66,500 square-foot field, scheduled to open in spring 2022, will feature a turf surface for year-round durability and adjustable bases allowing for 60-foot, 70-foot, and 90-foot base path configurations.
“Kids should have access to not only a great education but also the chance to play as many sports as possible,” longtime Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer said during a visit to the site earlier this summer. “Having a baseball field alongside a basketball court and football field is exactly what I would have wanted as a kid. We are proud to support a project that brings all of these opportunities together in one place.”
Jacque Patterson, Chief Community Engagement & Growth Officer of KIPP DC said “The field sits atop a hill that residents can see from any vantage point, making this site the crown jewel in the community. When the lights go on, residents will know there is baseball happening and be drawn to it.”
The Legacy Field will be home to a variety of baseball programs, including introductory clinics and competitive play run by the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the signature program of Washington Nationals Philanthropies. These programs offer the chance to foster the development of strong character through the invaluable lessons provided by high-quality coaches and mentors. The site will also feature a baseball-inspired art installation to honor, highlight, and celebrate the historical impact of African Americans on the game of baseball, especially in Washington, D.C.
Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, have a long history of philanthropic investment in the D.C. region. Since 2015, the Scherzers are the largest individual donors (on a cash basis) to Washington Nationals Philanthropies. In addition to the investment in the Legacy Field, their contributions have supported baseball and softball programming at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, rapid relief initiatives to bring resources to the community during a time of crisis, and joint-fundraising campaigns to support animal care and rescue. Max Scherzer also served as the face for many years of the Fantasy Football Showdown fundraiser benefiting the Academy.
“Max and Erica Scherzer are some of the most authentic people I have come across in many years of doing sports philanthropy,” said Tal Alter, CEO of Washington Nationals Philanthropies. “Their unrivaled generosity sparks involvement and engagement from others while lifting up worthy partners in the region doing important work on-the-ground to provide programs and services for residents of the region. And as a surprise to fans, they aren’t done yet!”