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Youth baseball and softball teams take the field at LMCU Ballpark

The Ted Rasberry Youth League has come to the park for the last seven years, with both boys and girls teams hitting the field.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It was a night that many young baseball and softball players won't ever forget, as LMCU Ballpark became their field of dreams on Thursday evening.

The Ted Rasberry Youth League has been in Grand Rapids for 25 years, giving kids a chance to play baseball for free. And for one night, they got to play on the same field some of their favorite professionals do.

Soon-to-be fourth grader, Jordan Reynolds, plays all over the field.

"Third, first and pitcher," he says, but batting is the best for the 9-year-old. "I like hitting the ball really far," Reynolds explains.

And getting to do that on such a big stage was a rush. "I've never played in a stadium before so it feels pretty good to actually play in one," he says.

The Ted Rasberry Youth League has come to the park for the last seven years, with both boys and girls teams hitting the field.

It's part of a partnership between the league and the West Michigan Whitecaps.

"The Whitecaps help fund this entire league so that we are able to offer it completely free of charge to the kids in our community," says Allison Sides, sports director for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.

And the league doesn't just teach kids how to play baseball and softball, either.

"They're also learning how to be good teammates, good sports and good people," says Sides.

Plus, it even provides free meals to each kid, something not possible without the help of the Whitecaps.

"They're going to remember the times that they had, the friends that they made and all of those life lessons that they learned," says Jenny Garone, community relations manager for the Whitecaps.

Memories made that will last a lifetime, all from stepping onto a field.

"You can just see the excitement all over their faces and the way the kids are interacting with each other and the smiles that come out," says Sides. "It's just awesome to see."

The game at LMCU Ballpark wrapped up the Ted Rasberry Youth League's season. To learn more about how to register for next year, click here.

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