Sonny Lawson Field Is a Favorite With Michael Hancock -- But You'll Need a Key to the City

The deadline is fast approaching for My Favorite Place in Denver, a program created by the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development that's currently soliciting nominations for favorite places in town from residents and visitors alike. We've already weighed in on our least favorite places and my personal favorite: Confluence Park -- specifically, the spot where the past and present come together with a plaque that quotes from a poem by the late Colorado poet laureate Thomas Hornsby Ferril, "Two Rivers." But we're also partial to Sonny Lawson Field, which has its own literary legacy.

See also: The Homeless Diamond Hits a Homer in Sonny Lawson Park

Decades ago, Jack Kerouac watched games at this park at 23rd and Welton streets; he commemorated the ballfield in On the Road, describing the crowd of fans as "all humanity, the lot."

Decades later, the field, as well as the surrounding park, was renamed for Sonny Lawson, the Denver native who ran the Radio Pharmacy in Five Points for more than fifty years.

Mayor Michael Hancock likes Sonny Lawson Field, too; in August, the My Favorite Place Facebook page published a photo of the mayor winding up, calling the ballpark "the perfect spot for a pick-up summer evening ball game with friends and neighbors."

Just one problem: In recent years, the field has been completely fenced off and locked.

Only leagues that book with the city -- like the Homeless Diamond, a summer game for homeless players organized by Joe Carabello for the past three years -- get the keys to this kingdom today. Which is why Hancock's post touting Sonny Lawson as a favorite place for "pick-up games" didn't ring true.

After we pointed that out, the mayor's office amended the post. "The perfect spot for a summer evening ball game with friends and neighbors -- and just look at that skyline!" the mayor now chirps. Don't forget to look at the new turf and seating, too; Sonny Lawson got a well-deserved facelift last summer. You might have to enjoy the scenery from behind the fence, though.

Have your own favorite spot? Post it on the My Favorite Place Faceook page by Tuesday, September 30.

Send tips to patricia.calhoun@westword.com.

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