ARTEMAS, BEDFORD COUNTY -- The fence is up, the grass in the outfield is growing, the bases are ready and the consession stand is getting a final cleaning. The new Artemas Little League Ballpark is ready for the first game.
In just a few short months, volunteers in the small rural town in southern Bedford County, took out some trees behind the American Legion Park in Artemas, added in some dirt and built their own field of dreams.
The league had to build a new field after the leason on their old one ran out.
Organizers are looking forward to the opening pitch on Saturday. It will be thrown out by Barb Snider. Snider is the owner of the Roadkill Cafe in Artemas. She has supported the little league teams for a number of years.
Hours of physical labor topped with numeorus fundraising events made the field a reality. They have raised closed to $20,000.00
Volunteers who stepped up to the plate to build the park says it was about more than just baseball it is also about keeping a community tradition alive. The American Legion park just wasn't being used and even fell victim to vandalism.
Little League Vice President Lance Clingerman said the park is family tradition. "I guess it was about 25 years ago, my parents were involved with a group like we are that started the park here. We built the pavilian and the playground equipment and now it has come down to my generation and we are trying to keep it going."
Saturday, April 24th, the park will host its first game.
These coaches want their young ball players to focus on making hits and scoring runs but there is another play in the books they say they can use on and off the field, according to coach Todd Akers. "No matter how big the hurdle is, f you are willing to work together and put time and effort into that, great things can be accomplished."