CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Last year during All-Star week in Cincinnati, Major League Baseball left behind worthy projects around the Tri-State.
The 10 projects, known as "Legacy Projects," were expected to draw an investment of $5 million, but eventually swelled to about $8 million, according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. The program is designed to leave a last impact on the All-Star Game host city.
"The Legacy project is the most important part of the All-Star Game. I think we take our greatest pride in leaving something behind," Manfred said last year during an All-Star Game event in Cincinnati.
Included in the projects are baseball field upgrades in Queensgate, Covington, the West End, Roselawn and Dayton. Also included are projects for veterans and the construction of a brand new facility at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati.
Now a year removed from the All-Star Game in the Queen City, FOX19 NOW checked in on some of the projects.
"The spotlight on the community when it happened was good. It was something good and positive," said Keith Blake, president of the West End Community Council.
In the West End, baseball fields were upgraded, a playground was built and a community center got a facelift making the community one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Legacy Project program.
"They are very crucial to helping us meet needs for children and families in the West End," Blake told FOX19 NOW.
The West End is in Cincinnati Police District 1. In the latest crime stats for the district (http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/police/crime-statistics/district-1-stars-report/), violent crime is up 1% over the last year.
In the same time frame, crimes like homicide and robbery are declining.
"It was certainly positive for the West End that we got as much investment as we did," Blake said.
Blake says a new playground built at Baymiller Street and Poplar Street as part of the campaign helped the neighborhood solve a problem. The construction of the new playground help build a case to tear down a nuisance play area on Linn Street in favor of a bigger, safer place to play.
"It's been a catalyst for change and positive change," Blake said.
Last year, Commissioner Manfred said more than $70 million has gone into the Legacy Project program since 1997.