News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

September 29, 2013

EDITORIAL: Celebrations from parks to honor our proud past

City, county seizing great opportunities

TERRE HAUTE — This Sunday, we pause from our usual editorial fare of heavy topics and pressing societal issues to comment briefly on two lighter items from the news this week that each says something good about our community.

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It is gratifying to see the momentum that is building around the Terre Haute Parks Department’s great idea to name a playing field at Spencer F. Ball Park in honor of Tommy John, a Hautean native who has carried the credentials of his hometown with him wherever he has gone in the world of professional baseball.

His old hometown appears headed toward doing it right. First, the field — now a softball field but one upon which John played baseball for Gerstmeyer High School — will carry his name beginning at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 24 at a free event at the field. Second, his effects on Terre Haute will be honored — and, we’d guess, expansively reviewed — at a dinner at 6:30 p.m. that day at the renovated Indiana Theatre. Proceeds from that dinner are going to the ball park, the city says.

It will be especially fitting that, as we understand, John will attend and add his commentary to the event.

Bruce Rosselli, a driving force for the events, says the field also will be festooned in Gerstmeyer Black Cats orange and black. One has to applaud when one reads Rosselli’s telling our reporter that people “are going to know this is Tommy John Field.”

It is a fitting hometown remembrance for the 70-year-old John, who won 288 games while pitching in 768 Major League Baseball games, wearing six MLB teams’ hats, between Sept. 6, 1963, and May 25, 1989.

As hometowners, we hope that John one day is selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame. But even if he isn’t inducted into that esteemed body, we think it’s nice, in a full circle sort of way, that there long will be a field in Terre Haute bearing his name, where young boys and girls throw, run, field, hit for average and hit with power.  

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