It’s now official: the summer-collegiate New England Collegiate Baseball League will be fielding a team at Old Orchard Ballpark next season, culminating an amazing comeback for a ballpark once given up for dead.
Last night the Old Orchard Beach Town Council approved a one-year lease with the Lowell All-Americans (summer collegiate; NECBL) for the 2011 season.
The return of regularly scheduled baseball to the ballpark is an amazing story. The ballpark was built as the home of the Maine Phillies/Guides (Class AAA; International League), who bailed on the Maine market after five seasons. The ballpark was left for dead, with the field overrun with weeds. After a fire took out part of the grandstand, the city deliberated whether to tear it down. A group of volunteers took things over and restored the ballpark with lots of elbow grease and love. It played host last summer to college tournaments as well as a Can-Am exhibition game. It spent a lot of time on the Ballpark Digest list of Endangered Ballparks. The return of this ballpark is great news for ballpark fans everywhere: it’s proof that an old ballpark should never, ever be torn down unless there’s no other choice.
Photo courtesy of Old Orchard Beach.
RELATED STORIES: College tourney caps comeback for Old Orchard Beach ballpark; Old Orchard Beach Ballpark opens for business; Rox, Capitales to play exhibitions at Old Orchard Ballpark; Good news! Old Orchard Beach Ballpark off Endangered List; Preservation of Maine Guides ballpark continues
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