Organizing Buddy Ball


By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

The dream is becoming a reality.

The Grove City Dream Field is under construction and soon almost everyone who wants to play ball will be able to do so. But first, the Buddy Ball League needs organization.

The city held a meeting on Sept. 10 to discuss the formation of the league.

“We would like to see this as a community-driven program, not a city-run program,” said Kim Conrad, parks and recreation director of Grove City.

Conrad said the city would like the league to be its own volunteer-based organization. In order to do that, the buddy ball program would need a board of directors, which would include a board president, league director, assistant league director, treasurer and communication director. The organization would need several committees to find sponsors, raise funds, register players, manage teams and find coaches. Finally, the organization would need to find buddies.

The buddies are volunteers who help the special needs players hit, throw and move around the bases.

“Baseball is an all-American sport that most kids grow up with and Grove City is a big baseball community,” said Conrad. “This league is breaking down barriers and giving access to baseball for all people,”

According to Conrad, the Dream Field, located in Windsor Park, is about 75 percent complete. Workers broke ground this summer. Since conventional grass and dirt fields present difficulties for players who use wheelchairs or walkers, the Dream Field features a rubberized surface. Workers are still building the dugout and shelter house.

The city is hoping for a grand opening this fall. The buddy ball league will not start regular season games until the spring of 2016.

“Right now, we are trying to put together the big picture,” Conrad said.

According to parks and recreation director, the city was approached with the idea for the Dream Field about three years ago when Little League came back into Grove City.

The city has provided the land and space and so far has put forth $900,000. Of the $900,000, Little League has pledged $250,000.

“We are very committed to this,” said Conrad.

The Little League board has also been finding funding sources for the league. Many local citizens and businesses have pledged funds to help.

“The community has come out in droves to support this,” said Conrad. “It’s overwhelming.”

For those interested in participating in the Grove City Buddy Ball League, contact the parks and recreation department at 277-3050 or

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