Grasmick donates land for athletic fields in Hereford

Volunteers who run programs for the Hereford Zone Recreation and Parks Council in northern Baltimore County are celebrating after a local philanthropist donated 40 acres of farmland they hope to turn into atheltic fields.

The land was donated by Louis Grasmick, owner of Grasmick Lumber and husband of former Maryland School Superintendent Nancy Grasmick.

"We're excited about it," said Eric van den Beemt, who is in charge of land acquisition for the Hereford council, one of 39 such county rec councils. He said the group has been searching for land for about 10 years, and has had its eye on this particular property on Middletown Road in Freeland for years.

Grasmick was not available for comment, but Ron Leubecker, chief financial officer for the lumber company who handled the transaction, said the move fit the family's philanthropic practices — and Grasmick's own background in professional baseball.

Grasmick, 88, was a right-handed relief pitcher in the pros, making three appearances in 1948 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

"The idea of giving to to the rec council was very appealing to him," said Leubecker, who said the family bought the land two or three years ago.

Van den Beemt said it's not clear yet how the rec council will use the property, but he said it could potentially be turned into four all-purpose athletic fields.