Jun 3, 2009

Baseball Memoirs

Bob Lamson saved the newspaper clipping all these years. On Oct. 31, 1975, The Morning Call reported that $200,000 had been raised to built the stadium. Times were different then, there were no KOZ's or cardboard checks from professional politicians. Bob is now 77, he played for the Patriots, and knocked on doors for two years to help build Bicentennial Park. Much of the construction was done by Vo-Tech instructors and students, who donated countless hours of their time. Contributors included the community leaders of their era; Van Schiver, Alvin Butz, and former Mayor Hock. The stadium opened in 1976 to host the National Fast Pitch Softball Tournament. Where will the plaque of contributors to Bicentennial end up thirtyfour years later; at a scrap dealer? Does Lanta really need the space, or does Allentown need the money? Would people again contribute their sweat equity, to build a field of dreams, only to see it torn down by a politician's fast pitch?


Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
The problem with selling this one piece of land is that it will never fix the city's budget.
If that was truly the case, some of us might actually support this plan.
But it never works. That is because current city fathers have not been prudent in their spending. We only need to look back two decades to the 1980s. Allentown Mayor Joseph Daddona sold park land at the intersection of 15th St. and MLK Drive to an accounting firm. This strip of land runs alongside MLK Drive for a few miles.
It was called a "greenbelt.” When Daddona sold this land, he told city residents
he had to sell it to balance his budget. Fast forward. Once more, the city is deep in debt. If we sell everything city hall owns (actually taxpayer own, but who cares about details) all city lands, buildings, commercial and development rights, maybe we are able to balance this year’s budget. But how will city hall balance the next year's budget and the one after that, when we have nothing left to sell?

LVCI said...

Satirically stated: If it's any remnant of Allentown's better days... tear it down. Maybe the people won't have a standing structure to be reminded how far down we have fallen. (examples: LVRR station, Hess's, Rialto, Colonial, etc)

Where once stood factories we see converted condos or musuem pieces describing what once was. Instead of buildings where once we earned money, they have become destinations to spend money instead.

Chris Casey said...

It was nice to see jarrett renshaw credit your efforts on QCD. As a Baseball lover, I have always enjoyed the character you find in small, local stadiums at Class A and AA levels.
That is really what Bicentennial is, if treated properly. It is a diamond in the rough, something that gives to the surrounding community if utilized properly by the government bodies. It brings a hell of alot more character to that part of Allentown than the obnoxious Velodrome that some county cheerleaders love gives Trexlertown.

I would rather have a ball field that all the kids in my community could utilize for sports than a bike track set aside for elitists who are too good to live here.