As children play in a multi-use field at Grijalva Park, they will be connected to an athlete and hero who grew up and played in the Midvale Park subdivision.

The field at the park was dedicated this morning in honor of Army Spc. Christopher J. Moon, who died in July 2010 as a result of wounds he suffered from a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan.

The park is adjacent to Grijalva Elementary School, 1795 W. Drexel Road, where Moon was once a student.

Those in attendance celebrated how Moon grew up to become an exceptional baseball player - starring on the diamond at Tucson High School and earning a baseball scholarship at the University of Arizona.

Moon, a member of the Navajo Nation, felt a calling to serve his country and left college in 2008 to enlist in the Army.

He was 20 years old when he died.

His mother, Marsha Begay Moon, was to speak at the dedication.

Efforts to reach Marsha Moon by phone and email were unsuccessful.

neighborhood behind effort

Dedication of the field in Moon's honor was inspired by efforts of the Midvale Park Neighborhood Association, said Ron Odell, west district superintendent for Tucson Parks and Recreation.

Funding for improvements at the existing field - including turf, irrigation systems and a walking path - was provided by the city of Tucson and a grant from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Odell said.

He said total cost of the work was about $324,000.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or