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They built a field of dreams in Rushville

Earlier this spring, the Marcus Whitman Youth Baseball program faced a dilemma — and working together, they solved it. The club had limited options for field space for their upcoming season of baseball and tee-ball. Because of capital projects at Marcus Whitman Central Schools over the next two years, they were unable to hold practices and games at their usual spaces.

So MWYB President Don Sutherland wrote to Rushville Mayor John Sawers to formally request use of the Warren Street Park for practices and games. Sawers later said the park had become a hangout for undesirable activity rather than an asset for the village. There was once a maintained ball field there and the old backstop was still in place. But Sawers said, “I’ve lived here for over 30 years and I’ve never seen a game played there. Years ago when Comstock’s (canning factory) was still in operation, some local teams would play the Puerto Rican workers, but that was before my time.”

Sutherland organized a team of volunteers — mostly parents of players — to build a pitcher’s mound, excavate for a new infield lining, foul poles, and protected team benches. Other people involved are MWYB board members Fallon Mitch, Will Guadalupe, Aimee Marin, Mahalee Glitch, and Charlie May. All they asked of the village is the routine mowing of the grass. They also got permission to raise additional funds through a concession stand on gamedays.

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