City dedicates Forest Hill Park ball field in honor of Jim Brennan
On Saturday, July 11, the City of Cleveland Heights dedicated Ball Field #5, the main field at Forest Hill Park, in honor of Jim Brennan, the former owner of Brennan’s Colony on Lee Road who was murdered last year.
"Jim Brennan was an enthusiastic supporter of our recreation programs for over 20 years," said Mayor Dennis Wilcox. "He sponsored softball teams and held many an after-game celebration at The Colony. This dedication celebrates and honors the energy and commitment Jim brought to our Cleveland Heights community."
A dedication ceremony was held prior to the All-Star softball games, which are traditionally held the second weekend in July each year. The city also declared that, from now on, the weekend will be called the Brennan All-Star Weekend. In 1999, Brennan was inducted as a member of the Cleveland Heights Softball Hall of Fame, because of his sponsorship of many softball teams over the years.
Larry Shaw, former commissioner of parks and recreation for the city and a close friend of Jim Brennan, spoke about Brennan’s support for Heights sports teams. He said that Brennan sponsored many softball teams—women’s, men’s and co-ed—and contributed to the Barden Benner Carter Memorial Youth Hockey Fund and the Raymond A. Robinson Memorial Youth Hockey Tournament.
“Jim made Forest Hill Park a destination for all who participated in Cleveland Heights sports in all capacities,” Shaw said. “Jim made Brennan’s Colony the place to be on Lee as many a post-game celebration was held there, whether we won or lost.”
Cathy Murphy, who was Brennan’s fiancee, thanked everyone for coming to honor him. Noting that Brennan would have shrunk from the publicity, Murphy said, “He really did deserve it. All of us that played softball—we may have been foes on the field, but we would go back to The Colony, take a couple of beers back with us, and have a great old time, and everybody got along. It was a great community.”
A sign above the scoreboard, designating Ball Field #5 Jim Brennan Field, will be installed later this summer. Funds for the sign were raised by the We Are a Colony committee, in partnership with the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District and the City of Cleveland Heights.
A video of the dedication ceremony can be viewed under the 2015 special events playlist on the city’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/clevelandheightsoh.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.