Minor league baseball heading to Malden, Massachusetts

There is something special about a new ballpark and when you add the possibility to bringing minor league baseball to a city for the first time, it becomes magical.

The proposal to establish an independent Atlantic League ballpark in the heart of Malden, Massachusetts (about eight miles from downtown Boston)  took a big step forward yesterday as city officials signed a letter of intent for the project along with  National Grid (the property owner) giving the development group, Boston Baseball Field of Dreams control of the property (Disclosure: I am part of this group), allowing the developer to move forward with financing and acquisition of neighboring parcels.

The plan is to build a $50 million minor league baseball park on an old National Grid gas plant site in Malden. Mayor Gary Christenson, US Representative Ed Markey (D-Malden), Attorney General Martha Coakley, Malden Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Stephen Wishoski and Massachusetts National Grid President Marcy Reed celebrated the agreement at Malden City Hall Monday afternoon by signing Louisville Slugger baseball bats with lawyer Alexander Bok who leads Boston Baseball Field of Dreams.

The plans are to build a 6,500-seat park to host a team in the Atlantic League eyeing an opening in 2015, but obstacles remain before that can happen.

Bok said the park is expected to produce about 125 part-time jobs during the six-month season, along with about 25 permanent, full-time employees.

“I believe this project has the potential to not only revitalize this site, but serve as an economic catalyst for the entire downtown,” Christenson said.

“This is the best day for Malden in my 36 years of being a congressman for this city,” Markey said Monday. “This is a moment that is going to be the transformation of this city.”

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