GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A historic baseball field on Grand Rapids’ West Side is poised to be restored to its former glory with the help of a local nonprofit.
“It’s amazing how many people who even do live in Grand Rapids have never been there before,” said Paul Soltysiak, the vice president of Fans of Valley Field, a nonprofit organization seeking to restore the field’s condition.
The ballpark is nestled in a West Side neighborhood, located off Valley Avenue NW between 4th and 6th streets. There is a good chance you have never been there but the Fans of Valley Field hope to change that.
“It’s just a super cool, unique space. A lot of people describe it as a mini–Wriggly Field it’s in the middle of a neighborhood,” Soltysiak said.
The ballpark was built in 1937 as Valley Field then renamed in 1996 as Sullivan Field to honor West Michigan philanthropist Bob Sullivan.
The field and stadium need some restorations, that is where Fans of Valley Field come in.
“We really want to get some youth programs going there once the field is renovated. We have had some events for kids, we did a junior home run derby. We did a pitch, hit and run competition,” said Soltysiak.
On Friday, Sept. 3, Fans of Valley Field are throwing a party called Ballpark Jam. There will be games, food trucks and four different bands. Two bands will be local, and the headliner will be The Rainbow Seekers.
“It’s a beautiful property. There is a lot of history there and we are really excited to do it,” said Joe Hertler, a member of The Rainbow Seekers.
Tickets are $26 and can be purchased online.