The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields at Hatton Park are the realization of one of several charitable works envisioned by the late major league pitcher and Reds broadcaster Joe Nuxhall.
Encounters with service organizations dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities, as well as his association with amateur sports organizations of all kinds, led Joe to the realization that no baseball diamonds existed to facilitate unrestricted play for people with physical and mental challenges. He developed a resolve to provide such a ballpark for his community.
Unfortunately, we lost Joe before his vision for such a facility could be realized, but the dream was eagerly taken up by the Nuxhall family, including and especially Joe's son, Kim Nuxhall.
While some preliminary work and planning was done earlier, fundraising efforts were begun in earnest in 2011, lead by Kim Nuxhall and Larry Tischler and facilitated by the Fairfield Community Foundation. When fundraising reached an acceptable level, the decision was made to proceed with construction and ground was broken in November of 2011.
Despite the fact that fundraising was far from the projected goal of over $2.5 million, construction began with a growing faith in contributed work and materials as union members of local electrical workers, pipefitters and others began work -- without compensation.
Within that context of selfless giving an increasingly diverse organization grew to include Bown Enterprises, Kokosing Construction, IBEW Local 648, Plumbers Pipefitters Local 392, Dallis Homes, The City of Fairfield and others. Ultimately more than a $1.5 million in skilled labor and materials were contributed.
Joe's dream was realized when The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields opened July 28, 2012.