New playing fields pay honor to former Boys and Girls Club member

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Family members of Kevin Crick are raising funds to build a series of multi-use playing fields in his honor, following his death in 2019.

What do the Pittsburg Pirates pitcher Kyle Crick, the Sherman Boys and Girls Club and the MLB have in common? Kyle Crick and mother Twila Crick are working with the Sherman Boys and Girls Club to have multi-purpose fields built as a memorial partially funded by the MLB. 

The proposed memorial to a former member of the Sherman Boys and Girls Club could create amenities for future generations of Sherman youth. Efforts are underway to construct the multi-use playing fields that would be used by the B&G club for its sports and other services.

Funds for the project are being raised in memory of Kevin Crick, who attended the club for several years with his twin brother, Kyle. Kevin Crick died in 2019 following an accident while on vacation.

Twila said she has raised about $70,000 for the project, including $25,000 she has contributed herself. Meanwhile, Kyle Crick said he is hoping to use his connection with Major League Baseball to contribute.

The league's alumni association traditionally helps players after their career has ended. However, Kyle Crick hopes to use the Baseball Tomorrow program to match his own donation to the project. Currently, he is looking into how much the program would match before he donates.

"My brother and I both went to the Boys and Girls Club in Sherman for years, so I have been looking for a way to give back to them," he said. "The stars really aligned and this plot of land became available for us to use, and it's pretty neat."

"The competition it (the club) provided at a young age and as an outlet, it was phenomenal. It saved me from a lot of trouble and that was a time in life when you can get in a lot of trouble," he added.

The Crick brothers' mother Twila Crick said the club helped her as a parent immensely and played a major role in the development of her children into the men they are today.  

"I was a single mom of twins, and when they were at the age when they couldn't be left alone at home they were there for two or three years," she said. "After school they would go there after school and went to their summer programs. Boys and Girls Club has always been wonderful to us."

At the club, the brothers participated in sports, something that would develop into a career for Kyle Crick who is currently a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"My brother was the kind of person who drove me to be the best, not just at sports, but to be the best dude I could possibly be," Kyle Crick described his brother as smart and a natural athlete.

The proposed fields would be near the Boys and Girls Club building in Sherman

The idea of the playing field came to Twila Crick and her family after Kevin Crick's death as they thought of ways to keep his memory alive. For many years, Twila Crick was active with the organization and helped raise money for it. In lieu of flowers, family members asked friends and loved ones to donate funding to the creation of the fields.

"I've always helped the Boys and Girls Club with their fundraisers," she said. "Kyle has always donated jerseys, baseballs and baseball cards and all that stuff. It is just something that Kyle and I decided to do as a way to remember him for him to have a spot in Sherman."

The multi-use fields, which can be used for seven-on-seven football, soccer, baseball and many other sports, will be built across the street from the club's current building on multiple lots that belong to the organization. The primary lot was previously used by Austin College as a practice field and has since been donated to the club.

Plans for the site include 16 decorative trees lining the field in honor of Kyle Crick's jersey number alongside a scoreboard and bleachers and iron fence. If enough funds are raise, Twila Crick said she would like to also include restrooms and a snack stand.

The project has already passed several hurdles with the city of Sherman. The city itself recently abandoned an unused alleyway the separated the lots that will be used in the project. Meanwhile, the city Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved alternative parking for the fields.

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Kyle Crick (30) and catcher Elias Diaz, right, celebrate after the team's baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Cincinnati. Crick hopes to use his connection to Major League Baseball to help raise funds for his the memorial fields in his brother's honor.

Sherman Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Bryan Partee said the fields could be a long-lasting asset to the group by providing a protected, safe environment for children to use that is near the club building.

"We have a lot of option available and we are blessed to have that flexibility," he said, noting there is still another six to eight months of work before the project is ready to enter construction.

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