Dec 2, 2009

Sports Memorabilia

I believe that soon our memories of Bicentennial Park could be reduced to memorabilia. This blog expects the Administration to propose selling the ball-field to Lanta. It is my hope, that if this travesty is attempted, Allentonians step up to the plate. This field for youngster dreams, which has been so important to thousands of people over the years, cannot be sold to plug 1% of the budget for one year.
Abe Simon towers over his cornerman in the late 1930's.


Anonymous said...

I will be there to oppose the sale. I have a suggestion. Why not sell city hall. This is a building that surely would not be missed.
Bob Romancheck

ironpigpen said...

I wrote my piece, "BICENTENNIAL WILL BE BULLDOZED", last spring.

I supposed the women's professional softball team, the Philadelphia Force, will be needing a needing a new home someday.

As of right now, the Force are marketing their 2010 season tickets at the team Facebook page.

They list ECTB Stadium (Bicentennial Park) as their home field.

PhilaForce on Twitter had a post Nov 25 about a Holiday Sale ending Dec 15 and indicates the team looks forward to the 2010 season but no mention of where the team will play.

The team's official website has no information about the upcoming season.

michael molovinsky said...

another property to be sold is the park department maintenance building across from the stadium. here again, this property has served allentown and our parks, well for many years. on the other hand, the city owns (in conjunction with the redevelopment authority) scores of property which we should have never purchased in the first place. worst yet, these properties have been neglected and deteriorated to the point of little valve. bring in the auctioneer, put them up in groups, but retain the properties which belong to the citizens; bicentennial stadium and the park building. the administration should function as a caretaker, nobody authorized them to make irrevocable decisions to sell landmarks

Horn and Bell said...

I think losing this stadium is the equivalent to tearing down Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. This past summer I had the opportunity to attend several Philly Force softball games and it was a great experience. The park does need renovations but look at its history. Local businesses and volunteers cleaned up the old park in the 70's, why can't we fire up the sentiment to do it again? It will be a loss to this area to lose a historical spot due to non-interest by elected officials. This park has seen many come and go and should stand for more in the future.

michael molovinsky said...

ironpigpen, i would love to be wrong about this. i base this post on 1. a tip i received, 2. pawlowski wants to sell property to raise a couple million instead of laying off the layer of bureaucracy he hired 3. we have nothing else of financial value to sell unless he packages groups of derelict houses. 4. number 3 would be my suggestion for numerous reasons.

michael molovinsky said...

horn and bell, again i want to issue a disclaimer. i unfortunately believe this is coming down the pike, but the administration thus far has issued no confirmation. i organized a town hall meeting on this subject and others last year, which attracted both the hunsicker family and others who toiled long and hard to build the current stadium. (much volunteer time from votech instructors and students.) this sale would have to be approved by city council. if this shenanigan comes up for vote, we would have to organize (again) a massive campaign against it. unfortunately there will be nobody on council with a memory of allentown.

ironpigpen said...

The Philadelphia Phillies sold a Lehigh Valley IronPigs pitcher (Justin Lehr) who was doing well to the Cincinnati Reds for cash last spring.

The Mayor recently got re-elected with 75% percent of the vote or something close to that so somebody must think he is good for something.

Why doesn't Allentown just tout the election results and then sell the Mayor and his administration to another city?

Anonymous said...

MM -

How is the stadium currently used. Is it now solely used for the women's softball team (Force)? Does little league still use the stadium as a site?

michael molovinsky said...

this past may, when i featured the ballpark on the blog, and held the meeting, someone mentioned to me "what's the difference, they just use it for that women's softball, and nobody goes."

i not sure how the park is currently used, but i do know that if it's torn down, it can never be used again. i do know that it would cost 100 times more to duplicate it than we will receive from lanta. i do know that this, or any administration, has no right to sell an allentown tradition.

ironpigpen said...

Dan Kehl of HORN AND BELL blog does not have exact figures, but he guesstimates average attendance of the Force games he attended to be 400.

Certainly not alot.

But 400 is better than nobody, however, and, in theory, is a place to start and build from.

Kehl tells me the Force's league, the National Professional Fastpitch softball circuit, apparently had a marketing deal with Major League Baseball that was supposed to provide a backbone of support but, allegedly, MLB did not live up to their end of the bargain.

Kehl says perhaps he and / or I should look into this supposed marketing agreement and what happened.

Maybe we will...

ironpigpen said...

The stadium itself never was too slick. I wrote in my essay last spring it was far from the nicest stadium I ever played in.

That is where District playoffs were once held and people used to complain it wasn't the best venue. It wasn't, truth be told - it was a baseball field!

But it was an honor to play there because it was an honor to get to Districts. We went all four years I was at Allen - tradition demanded we make Districts!!!

(Speaking of tradition, I find it very hard to believe Allen can't field a winning soccer team these days but that's another story)

More importantly, Bicentennial Park is definitely an iconic place because it was built with the celebration of this country's 200th birthday celebration in mind.

That SHOULD mean something to everyone in this country.

Plus, MM, who would admit he is no great sports junkie, is right - if Bicentennial Park goes, it would never be replaced. At least not in the city.

So once again, Allentown loses.

Nothing new there.

Allentown, in my opinion, has become a town chock full of losers who care nothing for local tradition or history.

(bunch of New York wanna-bes?)

America hates its history, too, so I won't cry when Bicentennial is bulldozed.

(America is a horrible, unjust country who only ever got anything by stomping on and exploiting people, you understand)

On the other hand, the Diversity Crowd should never cry when I tell it where they can take their cultures and traditions.


PS - I agree with Kehl that Bicentennial has seen a few teams come and go over the years but, if people REALLY WANTED it bad enough, things could be done to keep the place.

ironpigpen said...

Perhaps there is some fact behind the notion that Major League Baseball is not living up to their end of a marketing agreement with the National Professional Fastpitch league.
"A Long Way To Go"

Melissa Isacsson
July 21, 2009

After the Major League Baseball All-Star Game earlier this month, some of the NPF stars participated in a celebrity softball game, also televised from St. Louis.

"And (rap star) NELLY got most of the air time," said (NPF player Rachel) Folden.

"There were no commercials for for the NPF, no blurbs about our Web site, no suggestion to check us out.

The WNBA is riding the coattails of the NBA with NBA teams as owners of most WNBA teams and we're supposed to be riding MLB's, but we're not.

We went to a White Sox game last season and wore our jerseys and we looked like any other softball team.

Get us on TV.

Have more (Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos) Zambrano-type promotions. We sold out for three days after he threw out the first pitch."

Anonymous said...

The fact that the old Mack factory land is directly across Lehigh St. and easily could be transformed into a Class A
"Green" bus transport center with federal stiumus funds that would also bring much needed jobs to Allentown continues to be ignored by LANTA executives. Their insistence that Bicentennial Park be destroyed instead speaks volumes about their commitment to people, the city, the region, and our local economy.