By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester is moving from renting land where Hanners Park is located to owning the 10 plus acre parcel following approval of a $400,000 contract with BrewDog Columbus.
The United Kingdom-based brewing company, which intends to build its first state-side 100,000-square-foot complex in the city, is in the process of purchasing a 50-plus acre site located at the intersection of Gender and Groveport roads.
“We have the opportunity to acquire Hanners Park with the pending sale of the property to BrewDog,” said Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire.
Hanners Park is home to six baseball and softball fields, a batting cage, seasonal/event concession stand, bleachers and parking for 100 vehicles. It opened in 1995 to serve the growing recreational needs of the community. The city spent more than $150,000 three years ago to renovate the park with new dugouts, drainage upgrades and fence repairs.
The park is named for Roger Hanners, a hometown boy who always returned to his roots, even when his travels took him to minor league ball fields in the 1950s or throughout the Midwest as manager of the Chillicothe Paints baseball team.
Born in 1931, Hanners grew up playing sandlot ball on a field once home to a herd of cows. High school fields and courts were Hanners’ home from 1945-49, when he graduated from Canal Winchester. He was a four-year letterman in basketball and the only unanimous selectee his senior year for the All-County League team. In football, Hanners led the team as a co-captain his senior year as the Franklin County League high scorer with 71 points.
Hanners’ stint in professional baseball began in 1950 as a pitcher for a series of Yankees farm teams and ended in 1953 following a career-ending injury. He later managed the Paints, a summer baseball team owned by his son, and passed away in 2002.