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Ball park restoral

By Walt Borla


May I applaud local attorney Sam Chiara for initiating an effort to restore the long abandoned baseball field in Helper commonly known as the Pony League Field.

There is nothing more frustrating for a little league coach than to find a practice field for the team. The football field, elementary school grounds, a vacant lot, the Spring Glen park have been the only inadequate possibilities. Bringing the Pony League field back,if only for practice sessions,will certainly be a step forward.

A little history on the field. It was developed in 1951 designed to be a softball field originally, but with the advent of the little league movement in 1952 it was turned over for little league baseball activity and later as a joint field for little league and Pony League,the program for 13 and 14 year olds.

Funds for the field were derived from an annual celebration in the community known as the "Days of '49" This was a carnival type event held for three days every February in the civic auditorium during the 1940s up until the early '60s. The major source of revenue from the event came from bingo and a casino operated in a back room during the three days. Local law enforcers conveniently turned their backs, knowing the money was going for a good cause. Each year the revenue was specifically designated for a particular project approved by a committee of local citizens, the baseball field being the beneficiary of the 1950 event. Through those years funds raised by the "Days of '49" went for a new fire truck, improvements on the main baseball field, including the first lighting system, a new swimming pool (new at that time) and tennis courts were among the many community wide improvements. The last "Days of '49" was staged in the early 1960s with the money going towards the development of the present day little league field in northwest Helper. Many improvementswere made without a strain on tax payers.

May I urge Helper and North Carbon citizens to contribute towards the fund to restore the Pony league field. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank.

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