A dedication ceremony for the new Floyd Gaines Park will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 15 in celebration of the park’s completion and in honor of its namesake, Floyd Gaines.
The community is invited to watch a live stream of the ceremony on the Surprise Parks and Recreation Facebook Page at facebook.com/SurpriseRec.
The park is located at 16001 N. Nash Street in the city’s Original Town Site and includes a lighted youth ball field, netting, fencing, restrooms and a lighted and paved parking lot.
The ball field was relocated from its original location across the street with added amenities so that the new Heritage at Surprise affordable housing project could be constructed.
The park’s name and ball field amenity were preserved in honor of Mr. Gaines, who brought baseball to Surprise in the late 1960s — developing and coaching the city’s first baseball team. There was no ballpark in Surprise at that time, so the team played in neighboring towns.
After Mr. Gaines was elected to the city council in 1967, he succeeded in establishing a ball field at a city park in the Original Town Site.
With the help of other residents, he built dugouts and a backstop. Mr. Gaines persuaded council members to purchase bases and a pitcher's mound for the field and bats and balls for Little League. His efforts were honored with the naming of the park as Gaines Park.
Now, Mr. Gaines' legacy lives on through the new Floyd Gaines Ball Field at Floyd Gaines Park.
Additional park amenities remain at the original location, including a ramada, restrooms, drinking fountain, barbecue, playground and lighted multi-purpose field.
To see a listing of all Surprise city parks, visit surpriseaz.gov/parks.