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On September 14, the Rick Fanning Practice Facility was dedicated at Jim Peterson Park in Blaine. The new name is a testament to the dedication and passion of Rick Fanning, a former board member and president of the Blaine Area Traveling Baseball Association.
During Rick’s time on the board, he worked tirelessly to make Blaine’s fields and complexes better. Rick was always in contact with Blaine’s Parks and Recreation department about how both groups could work together to improve the fields and amenities at the parks. Between the City and the baseball organizations, projects were completed by pooling their resources together. There was significant volunteer time donated by the Blaine Area Traveling Baseball Association and Rick was the leader of the group. Rick would spend nights and weekends at the parks improving fields, building batting cages, re-building mounds, organizing sheds, and going through baseball equipment. He was a huge contributor to the BATBA tournaments and practically lived at the fields for tournament weekends along with his children.
Some of Rick’s work can be seen at Cloverleaf Park, Lexington Athletic Complex, Blaine Baseball Complex, and Jim Peterson Park. Rick helped construct the new batting cages, hitting stations, and multiple pitching mounds at Jim Peterson Park. It is a state-of-the-art training facility for baseball players and coaches. In unveiling the Rick Fanning Practice Facility, the City of Blaine honors not only a dedicated baseball enthusiast but also the power of community collaboration and the lasting impact it can have on the lives of residents. As baseball numbers continue to rise in Blaine, it is clear that Rick Fanning’s legacy will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of future generations of baseball players and fans.