When several of us began a serious search for an indoor baseball facility we were often faced with skepticism. It seemed as if many thought it was "Just a Dream" and could never come to be. To be truthful, we questioned ourselves whether or not this was only a dream that was never to be. Never the less, we persisted until finally...a break.
We found an old, somewhat run down, green building located on Main Street in Broadway that was owned by Bonnie Hoover (owner of Neff Lumber Yards). The building would require much work in order to set up just a couple batting cages. And the heating was questionable. The back corner of the building even had some water damage that would have to be dealt with first. Before this project ever got off the ground (and maybe even with a little blessing from above) another much larger and more suitable facility was located at the old IGA grocery building in Timberville.
Finally, what many thought was simply a wonderful dream became a reality. Wampler Foods, Inc. had purchased the building a couple of years prior when IGA went out of business due to competition. As the building was unoccupied, Wampler agreed to allow the Little League to use this location for the buildout of its new baseball facility. Many dedicated volunteers started the long, laborious work of ripping up flooring, painting, building walls, hanging nets and much, much more. We received a lot of help and support from individuals, companies and organizations. With their help, the StrikeZone was in full business by February 2001 and the kids have loved every minute since.
The Strike Zone received a great deal of press in newspapers and TV as a great place for ball players to build on talents and character. Eventually, our success with the Strike Zone caught the eye of Mr. Pablo Cuevas (county supervisor). Mr. Cuevas had a vision of expanding on what the Little League had started. Through many conversations with the Little League, Mr. Cuevas laid out his idea of the county turning the upstairs of the building into a community center. The County was successful in negotiating ownership of the building from Wampler's. Due to numerous metal support beams and a low ceiling, the basement was not ideal for other sport activities or meeting halls; but it could work well as a baseball facility. Nets could be hung between the columns to establish hitting and pitching lanes. Many members did not like the idea of moving the StrikeZone from the prime space upstairs. Even some of the members of the local organizations being offered offices, meeting rooms, and a state of the art kitchen, did not like the idea of moving the Little League out of the prime location it worked so hard in building out.
The Little league did realize, however, that the basement was suitable for a baseball facility and more importantly would give the StrikeZone a permanent location. With the great negotiating ability of Mr. Cuevas and other county representatives, the community center/baseball facility vision was realized. It is a place where parents and volunteers come to share their time in working with the most valuable commodity of our future...the youth.
The Broadway Community Little league would like to extend its thanks to Mr. Cuevas and all those who played a role in the Strike Zone project.
Thank you!!!! You made "Just a Dream" ... come true.