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Baseball field in Halls Hill set to be named for coach and community member

A baseball field in the Halls Hill neighborhood may soon pay tribute to Alfred Forman Sr., a native Arlingtonian and respected coach.

The Arlington County Board is set to approve the new name, “Alfred Forman Sr. Field,” during its meeting on Saturday. The field is located in the historically Black neighborhood of Halls Hill, also known as High View Park, between N. Dinwiddie Street and N. Cameron Street.

It would be a fitting tribute to the man whose name already graces a longstanding tradition that takes place in the park: a football game called the Alfred J. Forman Sr. Turkey Bowl.

Forman grew up in the neighborhood and attended Washington-Liberty High School, then Washington-Lee, a county proclamation said. He served Arlington for 25 years, organizing youth and adult sports teams at the Langston-Brown Community Center and sitting on the county’s sports commission.

The Arlingtonian coached youth basketball, winning over 10 county championships, the proclamation said. He also volunteered at annual community events, including dressing up as Santa Claus for the Breakfast with Santa celebration.

He died of brain cancer in 2014. His family still lives in Halls Hill today.

The High View Park/Hall’s Hill Historic Preservation Coalition, a group of residents dedicated to highlighting the local history of the neighborhood, initially asked DPR about naming the baseball field for Forman, a county report said.

“They indicated their disinterest in considering other potential options for names,” it said. “Furthermore, if the park could not be named for Alfred Forman Sr., then the Coalition would not seek to name the currently unnamed field and would withdraw the request.”

The Park and Recreation Commission backed this request. Board approval is necessary to name or rename any park facility in the county, the report said.

Members of the neighborhood coalition worked with county staff to apply for a Historic Preservation Fund Grant to pay for a banner and sign naming Forman and explaining his significance to the neighborhood. Both will be installed if the field’s proposed name is approved this weekend.

The currently unnamed baseball field was built after the community said the area needed additional amenities in the 1965 Neighborhood Conservation Program (now known as the Arlington Neighborhoods Program) per the county report.

Today, the three-acre park has picnic areas, charcoal grills, a playground and two basketball courts with lights, bleachers and an amphitheater, in addition to the baseball field. It is surrounded by single-family and small-scale multi-family homes.

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