By Jeremy Ross

(CBS)  It was a big boost for a struggling south suburb Friday.

More than 45 percent of Ford Heights residents live below the poverty line, but a team of community partners helped dozens of local kids finally round the bases of a regulation baseball field.

Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel, now with the Kansas City Royals, helped donate to the more-than-$200,000 project.

Local coach George “Kirby” Green is considered a driving force in the field. He credits sports with improving his life, so he wanted to share that with kids. Previously, he drove local players several miles per week to get them to games. Now, they have a field closer to home.

“Just a truly remarkable human being,” Hammel says of Green.

Back in 2014, about 10 kids were playing ball from Ford Heights. Today, that number is about 55 spread over five teams.

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