For more than 50 years, Roemer Park served as Wilmette's premier little league baseball facility. And after its most recent rennovation, the Wilmette Baseball Association is looking to keep it that way.
Although the baseball season started in April, Memorial Day served as the unofficial Opening Day for little league baseball in Wilmette as three all-star games were played at Roemer Park.
"It looks pretty much the same as it did back [in 1955] so our restoration kept pretty much all of the old stuff," said Sid Tepps, the president of the Wilmette Baseball Association. "I compare it with Wrigley Field and Fenway Park in that you can go there and know that all the great players played in that park."
After Sunday's rainstorm dropped a couple of inches on Chicago, Roemer Park still looked pristine by Monday morning. The restoration to Roemer included some work to the playing field, allowing more games to be played through the area's inclimate weather.
"A lot of times when no other diamond in northern Illinois is playing, there are games here because of the care on this field," Tepps said. "You look at the fields [Monday] and they are absolutely beautiful."
The Wilmette Baseball Association is still only two-thirds of the way to their fundraising goal for Roemer Park. In addition to the concession stand, the organization held a raffle, silent auction and dunk tank to help bring in money.
The silent auction featured an authentic signed Chicago Blackhawks jersey by captain Jonathan Toews while the raffle had skybox and rooftop tickets to a Chicago Cubs game and the opportunity to be a batboy for a day with New Trier's baseball team.
"It's a great event, it's a family event and I think we've built the Disneyland of little league parks," Tepps said. "Every kid that plays here, loves playing here because it puts them on stage."