Column: History comes alive at League Stadium

Jimmy Lafakis

By JIMMY LAFAKIS
jlafakis@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — I’ve learned that change is one of life’s only constants. It always seems like everything is in perpetual motion. Anything can change at the drop of a hat.

One thing has stayed the same throughout my life, though. Throughout each summer, the month of July has provided a plethora of incredible moments on various baseball diamonds. It was appropriate to begin this July at League Stadium, a park coated in history at every corner.

Early Thursday morning, heavy winds and rain swept throughout Dubois County. Later in the day, the skies cleared for another Ohio Valley League showdown between the Dubois County Bombers and the Owensboro RiverDawgs. The baseball gods smiled upon League Stadium on Thursday evening. Fans enjoyed another iteration of America’s national pastime — a pastime this field has welcomed for generations.

The first time I saw these teams meet, the Bombers captured a 7-6 walk-off victory over the RiverDawgs on June 4. That win marked an exciting season opener for the Bombers’ loyal fans. The fervent supporters made their presence felt as the Bombers drew first blood in the bottom of Thursday’s first frame. Dubois County (17-6) secured a 3-0 victory over Owensboro.

While the teams traded positions, I took time to observe the photographs of those who have crafted the stadium’s storied legacy. The banners featuring Buddy Blemker and Bob Coleman caught my eye. I have seen those banners before, but I wanted to reflect on how different the game must have been back in their heydays.

It is quite remarkable to see the amount of Major League Baseball players who have passed through League Stadium on their respective journeys. Steve Cishek and Sean Manaea are just two examples of current MLB pitchers who have enjoyed productive careers. While I photographed their banners, I thought about the memorable moments I enjoyed with my family at various MLB stadiums. Another banner recognizes Scott Rolen, who secured his place as one of my childhood favorites.

 

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
The Dubois County Bombers take the field against the Owensboro RiverDawgs on Thursday evening at League Stadium in Huntingburg. The Bombers earned a 3-0 victory over the RiverDawgs.

“A League of Their Own” has staked its claim as a must-see motion picture for baseball fans everywhere. The movie signifies another prominent piece within the stadium’s historic puzzle. The Rockford Peaches’ determination to succeed has never ceased to amaze me. Thursday was recognized as “A League of Their Own Day” to honor the anniversary of its 1992 release.The retro scoreboard in left field always catches my eye. It makes me wonder about how many games have been scored on these historic grounds. I’ve been fortunate to travel to my fair share of stadiums in my young life, but League Stadium is certainly one of the best at blending the past and present.

Dubois County has encouraged me to appreciate history. It has been a pleasure to explore various parks throughout the spring and summer. Covering baseball at League Stadium certainly felt different after watching Southridge and Jasper represent the county on the state’s biggest stage at Victory Field. Those games helped me gain a heightened appreciation for the county’s passion for baseball, and copious amounts of love are developed within the ballpark’s historic grandstand.

I am always eager to collect more learning experiences. I enjoy being a sponge and absorbing all the lessons I can. League Stadium taught me an important lesson on Thursday evening.

Times change. The game stays the same.




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