Still, the seats are there, even if they are bleachers without backs.
“They’re old, loud and clunky, but they actually protect the South Side [youth baseball league] diamond from foul balls,” Hockney said.
One thing that probably won’t happen ever again at Highland Park Stadium is minor league baseball.
Both South Bend and Fort Wayne have Single-A baseball teams, but both cities boast metro populations of more than 300,000 people. Howard County has about 82,000 people.
“I can’t see [minor league baseball] being that likely to happen, but that’s not the reason I’m doing it,” Goodnight said. “It needed to be upgraded either way.”
Kitchell, who spent 40 years with the Tribune’s sports department, and who served as publicity chair for the 1985 Legion series, said the stadium has seen a lot of great baseball games.
Opposing hitters’ eyes still light up when they see the short porch in right, but Kitchell said he can’t remember one game where the distance to the wall ended up being the deciding factor.
“I think it’s just great they’re doing it,” he said. “From living so close to it, I’ve seen a lot of baseball tournaments, and a lot of people have complimented that stadium. I think the baseball community will embrace the renovation. It will be fun to see what happens.”
Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at email@example.com.