Heaphy: History made in Rockford as International Women’s Baseball Center opens

From SABR Vice President Leslie Heaphy at Excelle Sports on September 6, 2016:

On a beautiful sunny day, sitting in the bleachers listening to the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball smacking the catcher’s glove, it felt like just another day at the ballpark.  This day was different as you look around and see the historic sign proclaiming you are at Beyer Stadium.

For those who do not know their history Beyer Stadium was the ballpark used in the 1940s and 1950s by the Rockford Peaches, member of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).  The city of Rockford worked to restore the ball park and it reopened in 2010.  This Labor Weekend saw us all watching a women’s baseball tournament with games on Saturday and Sunday with the championship game on Labor Day.  Teams came from Washington, D.C., and Chicago to play the hometown Rockford Starfires.  Exciting baseball thrilled fans and family who came to cheer on the ladies.

The real history being made in Rockford came with the chance to connect the present to the past.  Across the street from the stadium are two old factory buildings with a large parking lot in between them.  Arriving on Saturday morning one immediately notices something was different.  Sitting in the middle of the parking lot was a large blue bus that had seen better days.  All day long people came by to see the bus and to take their picture in front of the bus used by the Rockford Peaches back in the day.  The bus will become a part of the new museum which will be housed in one of the two surrounding buildings.  The city of Rockford worked with the park district and local business men to donate the buildings to the International Women’s Baseball Center (IWBC).

Read the full article here: http://www.excellesports.com/news/history-made-in-rockford-international-womens-baseball-center-opens/

Originally published: September 6, 2016. Last Updated: September 6, 2016.