Jackson Sparks baseball field, Waukesha parade youngest victim honored

Honoring Jackson Sparks, the Waukesha Christmas parade attack's youngest victim, a pair of Waukesha natives are asking for the city's permission to renovate a youth baseball field where Sparks used to play.

This idea came together just days after this community learned of Sparks' death. We've shared stories of his love for the game of baseball and his team, the Waukesha Blazers.

This project aims to share that love for decades to come.

Matt Drvaric knows just how important this game can be for Wisconsin families.

"I always have had a passion for baseball and youth sports," said Drvaric.

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As a kid, he played and then worked as an umpire, an experience that likely drew him to the story of Jackson Sparks following the Christmas parade attack in November 2021.

"When I saw it happen, I thought, 'Let's see if we can't put something special together in his memory,'" said Drvaric. 

Now, that thought is rounding third and heading for home. 

Drvaric's plan is to renovate Field 4 at the William R. Oliver Youth Sports Complex into the Sparks Complex. It would feature an archway entrance, turf playing field, new dugouts, a new scoreboard, lights and more. At $1.3 million, he says the park would keep Sparks' memory at the forefront.

"I can't imagine what a lot of those families experienced, so I hope that this project lets the world know and everyone in the community know that there's still some positive that comes out of a very dark moment," said Drvaric.

The goal is to reopen the new field by spring 2023 to coincide with Sparks' No. 23 jersey.

"I hope that for many years to come, there's a lot of great memories that are shared on this field among the families that will supersede what happened someday without forgetting it," said Drvaric. 

Drvaric is working with Sean Cullen from JP Cullen Construction, which would do the renovation. 

Jackson Sparks

Jackson Sparks

The project just needs the Waukesha Plan Commission's approval, and that could come as soon as next week.

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