SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — Renovations are currently underway at Shultz Creek Field in South Shore, Kentucky, as Bob Bryson plans a celebratory baseball game to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Shultz Creek Field.
The baseball field, which has been mainly home to adult amateur baseball games, Del Rice League games and a few youth games is celebrating 50 years of operation. To help celebrate the golden milestone, Bryson decided to renovate the field and to set up a night game, which will occur Saturday, July 23, 2016.
“This is the 50th season,” Bryson said. “I was going to try something big for the 50th season, so I’m going to get some construction lights from Wagner Rental and on July 23, we’re going to have a night game with a team from Morehead, Kentucky.”
The lights won’t be the only improvement for the game, as Bryson has overseen the construction of a press box at the field, along with a grandstand that sits on the first base line.
The improvements were inspired by the old Coney Island Field in Fullerton, KY. An amusement park once stood on the grounds, which also housed the old field.
The new grandstand at Shultz Creek Field is inspired by the grandstand that once stood in Fullerton.
Bryson’s night game to commemorate the 50th season of Shultz Creek Field is also a celebration of adult amateur baseball in the area.
Before the days of multiplex cinemas and home television, communities would come together on Sunday afternoons to watch baseball, as the towns and villages around the Ohio River Valley would form teams to compete against each other.
Aside from the now lost Coney Island Field, Millbrook Park in New Boston, Ohio was also home to a similar field which local amateur baseball players would play against their counterparts from other cities and villages.
“That’s where they had a lot of big baseball games in the early 1900’s,” Bryson said. “At the same period of time, you had Millbrook Park in New Boston. They had a similar situation. They had an amusement park there. They had a real nice baseball field and had a lot of big baseball games.”
Bryson said he also wants to call attention to nearly 150 years of amateur baseball in the area.
“Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a lot of these communities had adult baseball teams and had a field and would go around and play each other,” Bryson said. “For the big games, they would go to Millbrook Park or Coney Island.”
According to the Local History Department of the Portsmouth Public Library, the first record of a baseball game in the area dates back to 1866.
As the field at Shultz Creek continues to undergo renovations, Bryson estimates a total of around $40,000 worth of improvements to the grounds by the time everything is complete.
In addition to the new grandstand and press box, Bryson also will have a new scoreboard for the field, which will be placed just beyond the right field fence.
Several special appearances will be made at the 50th anniversary event game July 23, as former Major League Baseball umpire Terry Craft is scheduled to be a special umpire for the game, along with a special appearance by former major league pitcher Don Gullett.
Gullett will throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.
Along with the evening game, Bryson has put together a “Legends” game, which will feature former adult amateur baseball players that have called Shultz Creek Field home or have played against teams at the field.
The “Legends” game will begin approximately at 4:30 p.m., with the main game scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
There will be no admission charged for the game, which is located across from Bryson General Store, located at 2378 KY-784, South Shore, KY 41175.
Concessions will be available during the event, as the Greenup County Baseball Boosters and the McKell Class of 1966 will be on hand to sell concessions.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.
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