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Play ball! Homeless Diamond's third season looks like a hit

After weeks of delays, the third season of the Homeless Diamond is about to start on Sonny Lawson Field, the newly restored park at the edge of Five Points. This has been a ballfield for decades -- since long before Jack Kerouac watched a game here in 1949, which he commemorated in On the Road. But Joe Carabello, the real estate developer who founded the Homeless Diamond as a way to help create some community for the homeless who hang out in this neighborhood, was beginning to despair that the new season would ever get under way.

Because of the reconstruction of the field, the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation was slow to issue a permit for the weekly, Tuesday morning game. And then the first one had to be postponed because the sod was wet. The second was postponed because the bases had not been laid correctly.

But this morning, the field looks ready -- and so do the players, a record crowd of men and women alike. After a breakfast donated by Work Options for Women (Subway is handling lunch) and a warmup, Carabello called his players together for a quick overview of the rules. Then the two teams headed out into the field, while a sizable crowd shouted encouragement.

The players include people who have been homeless for decades, and some who've only been living on the streets for a few weeks.

But they've all found a home at the Homeless Diamond.

It's a beautiful day for baseball. Come out to Sonny Lawson Field!

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Photos: Friends and family remember Marvin Booker three years after his death."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun