We won! Yesterday, I was honoured to be at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the league will help fund a memorial field for Chris Lane.
It'll be such a fitting tribute to Chris. When he was murdered chasing his baseball dreams in the US last year, I knew that nothing could bring him back. But a baseball field in his hometown would be a fitting way to honour a young man who lived and loved baseball.
Now we've made that a reality – you helped do that when you joined more than 38,000 others who signed my change.org petition.
Yesterday, the MLB commissioner handed Chris' parents a ceremonial home plate to be laid at the memorial Little League field at Chris' home club in Essendon. They've said they have been moved by our campaign for the field.
When I started this petition, I never imagined that thousands of people would rally to our cause and help us achieve a great victory for baseball in Chris’ honour. But we did it. And I can't thank you enough for helping us get there.
Chris was a dedicated athlete and it was an honour to have been his coach. In his death, it’s an honour to know that his name will mark the field where young people can follow in his footsteps and chase their dreams too.
Thanks for all your help,
Thank you for taking the time to read my petition. I am writing to you about the recent shooting death of a friend of mine and much loved member of the Australian Baseball Community Christopher Lane.
Chris grew up playing T-ball, little league and eventually senior baseball at the Essendon Baseball Club in Melbourne Victoria Australia. At the age of 18 he went to Redland’s community college on a baseball scholarship, not a small feat for a young man from the opposite side of the world. After a successful 2 years at Redlands Chris was recruited by East Central Oklahoma where he became what the school described “The epitome of a Student Athlete”. Chris was an outstanding athlete but more than that he was an outstanding person. Chris was socially minded, cared for his community and had a will to make the world a better and more just place. At the end of each college year he would return back to Australia for a brief stay. Many would have used this time as break or a holiday but not Chris. He would help out and coach at his local baseball club and even pull on the uniform to play. He was without doubt a special human being.
On Friday the 16th of August Chris went for his daily jog along the same path he had run down countless times before, but on this day he run pass three young men who decided they wanted to kill and they chose our mate as their target. Without any warning, without any provocation and without any reason they stalked him in a car and cowardly shot him in the back before speeding off leaving Chris to die by the side of the road. Such a death is not suitable for the lowest of the low let alone a young man of Chris’s calibre.
The outpouring of support and feeling from around the world in relation to Chris’s tragic death has been astonishing. It has warmed the hearts and made dealing with his situation just that much easier for those of us who knew him best. Now we want to create a living memory and tribute to Chris. We want to create a Little League Baseball field at his home club of Essendon.
Australia does NOT HAVE ONE little league field in the whole country. This is despite the fact that Australia this year put for the first time ever a team in the Little League World Series. At the moment LL teams all across our nation play on make shift diamonds placed on soccer pitches and cricket ovals. We need and we want a Chris Lane Memorial Field.
I am asking you to help make this a reality. I am asking you to help us honour our boy. I am asking you to help us build an ongoing tribute to a man that deserves to be remembered and to help us build something that will be used and treasured for decades to come by generations of young ball players.
We have the will. We have the venue. We just need the way. Help us make Chris Lane Field at the Essendon Baseball Club a reality.