Cubs' Heyward helps expand youth sports on West Side

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony of a 150,000 square-foot youth sports facility on Chicago's Austin neighborhood on the Far West Side.

The building will include a Jason Heyward Baseball Academy, in addition to indoor and outdoor playing fields, fitness and mental health programs as part of the By The Hand Club for Kids.

"To be able to bring something like this to this city, it's huge," Heyward said, according to "Any inch you give us in this city, we take it and we can do so many special things.

"I just can't wait to see what the future looks like for some of the kids that I've already had a chance to talk to. This is better than the first day of school, first day of being a major leaguer, because you see the vision, you see the dream. We had Zoom calls about this, and I remember getting the chills talking about myself, my wife and I, being a part of this.

"I hope to raise kids in this community one day. And I want them to see that kind of legacy. Yes, I have played baseball. I was on a team that won the World Series. ... But my wife and I take a lot of pride in giving back to the community, helping people out."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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