Frost Field was the place to be Monday night, May 31. On the field, local Feeder and Little League teams competed in a series of regular season games, while off the field hot dogs, burgers, snacks …
Frost Field was the place to be Monday night, May 31. On the field, local Feeder and Little League teams competed in a series of regular season games, while off the field hot dogs, burgers, snacks and drinks were provided free of charge by volunteers.
In addition to providing an opportunity for players and fans alike to celebrate the holiday weekend, the Memorial Day Cookout also allowed attendees to enjoy new improvements made around the facility.
Renovated bleachers, a freshly painted concession stand and other features have breathed new life into Frost, and according to local Little League Board president Levi Ray, these improvements could not have come at a better time.
Ray, a former assistant coach who has been involved with youth baseball for a decade, was recently granted the opportunity to make a proposal on behalf of the community.
In a meeting with Little League Baseball representatives, Ray made the case that Paris should host the Little League 12U Illinois State Tournament — the last stop before the Little League World Series for Illinois teams.
Field renovations like those mentioned previously played a big part in Ray’s pitch, as did the opening of the new Hampton Inn. After some deliberation, Little League Baseball headquarters gave Ray the green light.
This year’s state tournament marks the first time Paris has hosted such an event.
After receiving the good news, Ray and other volunteers have continued to work on improvements. Despite working full-time jobs, volunteers have made time to paint, remodel and tend to the field. Some have even paid for these renovations out of their own pockets.
The long hours and personal investment are worth it to Ray, however, who grew up playing baseball and coaching his sons.
“We love baseball and it’s time to give back,” Ray said.
There is still much work to be done. More renovations are needed before the tournament in July, and that will require more funding.
Local Little League Board vice president Marc Dalbey provided a detailed list of projects that could benefit from donations.
“Any donations we receive will likely go toward putting siding on the concession stand, installing the new scoreboard that was donated by Harry Frost and Don Bartos, or other general updates,” said Dalbey.
One thing is certain: Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and coaches, the future of Little League baseball is bright in Paris.
For more information on contributing to the renovations at Frost Field, contact Levi Ray at email@example.com.