Bronze Home Plate Marks Site of First Lufkin Little League Field
People Will Come
"...America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time...This field, this game -- it's a part of our past...It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again."
From the movie 'Field of Dreams'
People Did Come
In the early 1950s, people did come. By the hundreds and hundreds, people did come to watch youth baseball in Lufkin.
According to Mike Maberry, it was a different time with different priorities. There were no smart devices and TVs were only in about 50% of American homes. Being able to spend some face-to-face time with neighbors while watching area kids play baseball was an event that people didn't want to miss.
Then and Now
In 1952, thanks to the efforts and vision of several area citizens, youth baseball began in Lufkin. On Tuesday, July 25, some 70+ years later, a ceremony was held outside the Kurth Memorial Library. A bronze 'home plate' was dedicated marking the spot where the original home plate once was on Lufkin's first Little League Field.
Maberry, who was a 6-year-old batboy on the first team to play there, talked about the history of the field, the league, and what it took to get youth baseball to Lufkin. He displayed a bat that used to belong to Pitser Garrison, and he passed along the following fun fact:
Did you know that Ardie Dixon (from Dixon Furniture fame) was the first Lufkin Little Leaguer to hit a home run at this park?
Lufkin Mayor Mark Hicks addressed the crowd and then several Lufkin Little League players along with legendary coach Bud Maddux ceremoniously swept the sand off the bronze plate.
Little League Field Dedication