Our league season officially begins tomorrow, with one little wrinkle. Home field. It won’t be at the same place it’s been for most of the Indian’s storied past. I think I miss it already.
Many former Indian players and their families have expressed disappointment in this change. I’m not surprised. Even though the parking situation was less than ideal, and foul balls regularly bounced into the adjacent alley, these, and many other quirky characteristics about the VFW field, are the very things that made it feel strangely special to us.
There was something endearing about the freight trains lumbering by, their engines droning so low and loud that play sometimes would be suspended because a person couldn’t hear her/himself think. The horses grazing in the meadow beyond the tracks, the house on the hill just over the left field fence where many home run balls left their marks, the grass infield, and the stands so close to the backstop that even an umpire with bad hearing could hear fans grumble. This is a baseball field? Yes. And oh, how we’ll miss it!
What is it about “place” that’s so important to us, no matter how imperfect that place may be? According to Ed McMahon, a nationally renowned authority on sustainable development, land conservation and urban design, “A sense of place is a unique collection of qualities and characteristics – visual, cultural, social, and environmental – that provide meaning to a location.”
That pretty much sums up the place we once called our home field, and helps explain why it will always be dear to our hearts.
This year, all Mountville Indian home games will be held at FROELICH PARK (at the Mountville Pool) instead of at the Mountville VFW field as in past years.