Crittenden County’s own ‘Field of Dreams’
You would expect word of Hank Aaron’s death earlier this week to make the news at all levels. And most every report talked about Aaron’s 715th home run that broke the record held by Babe Ruth.
Aaron hit his record-setting home run at Atlanta’s old Fulton County Stadium. The stadium, visible from I-75 as you traveled through Atlanta, was torn down several years ago. It’s coming up on the 47th anniversary of that night — April 8, 1974.
But the legacy of that stadium and the night Aaron hit number 715 lives on.
In Crittenden County, KY.
A Crittenden County resident purchased some of stadium seats when it was torn down. And now the faded, somewhat rusty seats are located at a Crittenden County baseball field.
That’s where Chris Evans, co-publisher with his wife, Allison, a KPA Board member, of the Crittenden Press comes in. Chris is also the Crittenden County high baseball coach and his team will be playing its games at the field where the seats have been re-located. Not many high schools, perhaps none, can show visiting teams seats that were present the night of Aaron’s legendary home run.
Chris offers more information about the benefactor and the Fulton County Stadium seats:
“We have 250 seats that were purchased and installed in 2008 for $1 each. They had been salvaged from Fulton County Stadium and were the originals installed there in 1964 I think.
“Gordon Guess, a former bank president, is the benefactor. We call him Mr. Baseball. The field is named for him and he has upgraded it a great deal over the years. He even had a Summer Collegiate Baseball League team that played here for a time. It’s been home of the Rockets for almost 40 years, but it was a sandlot when we started playing there in the 1980s.
“I wrote an article for the newspaper, posted a website article and Tweeted about it. Somehow WSIL-TV in Carterville, Ill., got wind of it and came down to interview Gordon and me.”
Here’s a post on the Crittenden Press website: https://crittendenpress.blogspot.com/2021/01/hank-aarons-connection-to-marion.html
And here’s a link to the story by WSIL-TV: https://wsiltv.com/2021/01/27/marion-baseball-fields-unique-ties-to-hank-aaron/