Sprinker ball fields to be named after Thomas A. Cross

Pierce County’s first parks and recreation director will be honored Thursday, June 6 when the new Thomas A. Cross ball fields at Sprinker Recreation Center are dedicated.
Tom Cross will be recognized during a 5 p.m. program at the two-field complex for his vision, devotion and untiring efforts on behalf of youth, recreation, sports and community, according to Parks and Recreation Director Jan Wolcott.
Pierce County Executive John W. Ladenburg, County Councilmembers Wendell Brown and Kevin Wimsett, sports community leader Stan Naccarato and Wolcott will speak during the ceremony.
Wolcott was superintendent of recreation under Cross and moved up to director when Cross retired in 1981 after 23 years in the position.
Cross remains active in sports-related activities, serving as commissioner for the Northwest Intercollegiate Officials Association.
He also observes college football games for prospective NFL officials and observes for the PAC-10 football and basketball.
A graduate of Stadium High School and College of Puget Sound, Cross was an outstanding athlete and in 1946 played for the Tacoma Mountaineers, Tacoma’s only professional basketball team.
He was a PAC-10 basketball and football official for more than 30 years.
The $1.1 million complex includes two fields with outfield fences set symmetrically at 310 feet to accommodate slowpitch, baseball and fastpitch games.
The fields feature a lighting system designed to minimize impacts on surrounding neighborhoods, irrigation and drainage systems aimed at supporting maintenance efforts and reducing water coming onto the site from surrounding areas, and covered dugouts.
The project’s costs were covered by grants from the state Inter-Agency Committee for Outdoor Recreation’s Youth for Athletic Facilities Fund, Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Foundation, Tacoma Athletic Commission and Tacoma Rainiers Community Fund, along with county funds.