Field of Dreams

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Written by third-year Liz Kossner, for the College Webpage.

Just as the University of Chicago baseball season winds down, another one begins. The Canaryville Baseball League kicked off on May 2, with over 500 people coming out to watch and march in the parade. The connection between these two teams? Johnny Kozlar, a third-year University of Chicago varsity baseball player and the president of the Canaryville League.

"Ever since I was four years old, I have been playing the game of baseball and have learned a lot of information and knowledge from many of my coaches," Kozlar said. "I wanted to give the information that I have learned to these children, so they are better prepared for the game when they have opportunities to pursue their baseball careers and their life dreams."

Although he hails from a rival neighborhood, Bridgeport, Kozlar quickly became attached to the Little League program in Canaryville. Kozlar began coaching the 10-12 year olds' Astros team last season. Appalled at the rocky infields and shabby facilities for the kids ages 3-16, Kozlar decided to launch a fundraising project to renovate the fields.

For these new facilities, nothing was too good. The new infield was designed by Van's Enterprises, who also designed the local U.S. Cellular Field, and the netting by Protective Sports Concepts, who designed for Yankee Stadium. This upcoming season will also see new bases, Majestic brand high-quality uniforms, trophies, paid umpires and concession stands. Kozlar described these improvements as "the end of an old era and the start of a new one."

Despite these changes, the community is still a crucial part of the league. Canaryville resident Bob Popp completed the fencing. Members of Canaryville, McKinley Park, Englewood, Bridgeport, Hyde Park and other neighborhoods came together for 14 hours to lay down the new sod on the field. Kozlar keeps the community informed of progress and news related to the League through a listhost that "can keep everyone involved even after their kids leave," Kozlar said.

Even the fundraising began in the community. Last summer, kids rode their bikes through their neighborhood asking local businesses to donate money towards the restoration. During those three days, they succeeded raising $1,300 towards the total cost of $45,000. Other fundraisers Kozlar helped organize include the 7th Inning Stretch benefit concert that raised $2,000 that night and the opening day parade that also raised $2,000.

Kozlar has worked hard to encourage the University of Chicago to get involved. So far, he has raised $500 from the UChicago Medical Center and at least $200 from alumni for the Canaryville field renovations. A researcher at the University of Chicago Hospital even decided to donate the $200 necessary to sponsor a team.

Still looking for any donation, big or small, Kozlar uses publicity strategies and fundraising ideas he sees at the University of Chicago. He created Canaryville Little League Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube pages in addition to the league's main website.

Other University of Chicago students have also taken on leadership positions in the Canaryville League. Of the 16 members on the Canaryville League Board, four are from the University of Chicago; the others come from the community. Now, there is even an RSO dedicated to the cause: the Chicago Innercity Development Association was approved this year and is quickly expanding. Their aim is to go around the Chicago neighborhoods and renovate one rundown athletic venue each year. "The University of Chicago should be a part of Chicago, not just in Chicago," Kozlar said.



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Proud Canaryville Resident said:

Just a correction. I know for a fact that Mark Baker created the league's website and social networking accounts.

please don’t reject this prayer…
We write from Italy. We hope in Your comprehension, for lack of our names, our lies and the liberty we are taking: we fear religious fanaticism.
We have discovered an unacceptable dictionary: The Hebraic tongue restored 1815 Fabre Antoine D’Olivet (Google)
We know this is not your work, but if you are Christians, we pray you in the name of Jesus:
tell our brothers God don’t drove out the man; He don’t blotted out the men with the floodwaters.
If you believe He loves his creatures and He gives his Son to save mankind, you ought to read our discovery in (Italy)
We need your hebrew language teachers in university in US. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave.
Imagin if your friends, in the year 1492, tell you that the earth turn around the sun.
Do you believe it? No. Because it is impossible, absurd, unnatural, imbelievable, unacceptable. It is a blasphemy. But if you look to the pole star, to the seasons, to the whole starry sky, you can see the truth.
We have a unacceptable discovery. We hope in your country, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Yes, special courage, special hearts like in Matthhew 10.16.
We said to you, look at our work, simply and exclusively with scientific eye, only this we ask! Please help us.
We are a team, teachers and students, and we are studying four years on The Hebraic tongue restored (1815) Fabre d'Olivet Antoine 1767-1825. We affirm: hebraic teachers don’t know this opera! (you can verify) and: when Old Testament was traslated in ancient greek, complete and original meaning of hebraic tongue was lost, seriously decay.
Simply we used this etymological dictionary and grammar, exclusively in honest and scientific way.
Adam: Gen. 1.27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Our name, Mankind; from the hieroglyphs origin across the greek and latin, a portion of meaning of this name remain in english and italian in the word idem.
Eve: faculty of volition.
Serpent: instinct.
Cain don’t killed Abel.
The flood of waters: the constituent elements of creation becomes act, across the ark.
The Ark: determinate provenance. And this, we think, is the big bang.
The rainbow: In your procreation it shall be seen my conception; or, Your procreation shows the way I made the creation. Gen. 9.14.
Now try to read the third chapter of Genesis in your Bible, and after the same chapter in our translation.
We don’t ask you to believe us, but we ask a scientific examination; for we used the etymological dictionary in the same way we use french, spanish or chinese dictionary: the subject leads the choice of acceptation.
Owing to text, imposing and complex, we don’t know english language enough to give you a satisfactory traslation.
We pubblished our work in:
In our site, if you want see hebrew alphabet, your computer needs hebrew fonts.

Anyway we need a scientific examination by a friend, who tell us: brothers, return down with feet in earth.
I pray you in the name of Jesus: help us, give this letter at university in US.

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