Today, amidst a cold drizzle that came down like tears in the bottom of the ninth in the championship game, J & J Earthworks... Day 1 – Construction of  Elementary School and Demolition of American Legion Baseball Field

Today, amidst a cold drizzle that came down like tears in the bottom of the ninth in the championship game, J & J Earthworks demolished the dugout at the birthplace of American Legion Baseball in Milbank. The work created a giant mud puddle, the kind every kid under 10 only dreams of, which is probably appropriate, as the site is being prepared for the city’s new elementary school scheduled to begin construction soon.

According to Milbank Mayor Pat Raffety, “This year, we’ll do the land work (on the baseball field) and get the infrastructure in place.” Next year, construction would begin on the field with the hopes of playing the first game on Opening Day in 2022 or 2023 at the latest. American Legion Baseball will also celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2025.

If you are feeling nostalgic about its original location, you can still see the weather-beaten bleachers and a ring of chain link fence – but they will come down later in the week. According to a representative of J & J Earthworks, Wendland House Movers could possibly complete the razing of the bleachers and the canopy over the bleachers by the end of the week. He said, ”That’s the difficult part – getting trucks in there to remove all the debris – and a lot depends on the weather.”

The field, where baseball has been played since 1939, is moving to 27 acres of land adjacent to the south side of Lake Farley Park. That land was approved for purchase by the Milbank City Council at a special meeting on April 15.

Raffety said, “Change brings opportunity.” But many baseball enthusiasts are worried about the time and money required to get the new field up and running and the ramifications of the move in the interim for baseball programs in Milbank, especially American Legion Baseball.

Follow The Valley Express for more updates and photos as progress continues on both these projects.

Click here to check out our photo album from Day One!

Staff Writer

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