Bloch Park almost ready for pros

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 22, 2002

For Selmians, what was once a vision is almost now a reality. Sitting in the stands, smelling the turf, hearing the roar of the crowd–then comes the pitch, it’s up, up, and it’s out of here.

Professional baseball is back once again in Selma. On May 27, the Selma Cloverleafs will hold their first home exhibition game at Memorial Stadium, taking on the Montgomery Wings, the Cloverleaf’s first game since the original Cloverleafs team folded in 1962.

Selmian Noopie Cosby, an investor in the Montgomery Wings organization, the organization that officially own the Cloverleafs, can’t wait for baseball season to start in his home city.

“Bringing professional baseball to Selma is something that is only going to enhance the image of our city in a positive way,” said Cosby. “It is something that the entire city can rally around, and it only adds to all the positive things that are going on here right now.”

Besides a new $1 billion dollar plant arriving in Hope Hull, adding the possibility of new jobs in Selma, the Cloverleafs, said Cosby, are something else that will bring new life to the city.

“Recreation in Selma is something that is an important part of the quality of life in our city,” Cosby said. “There are lots of good things happening right now in Selma, and I think this is just one other thing that will bring community spirit, and improve Selma as a whole.”

Elton Reece, the parks and recreation manager for Selma, said that the baseball field is almost up and ready for the Cloverleaf’s first home game.

“We’ve been extending the dugouts and fixing up the mounds,” said Reece, who, besides managing recreation in Selma, has both coached and played baseball at the elementary, high school and collegiate levels for the past 43 years.

Reece said there are currently 60 box seats, 75 grandstand reserve seats and grandstand seats around first and third base being built. “We are working as hard as we can to get everything ready before deadline,” Reece said.

Said Reece, “Baseball has always been a huge part of my life, and the coming of Cloverleafs just means a lot to me. All I can say is that I’m just really excited for Selma.”

Reece said the labor at Memorial Stadium being done by parks and recreation, and the field renovations being paid for mainly by the Cloverleaf’s organization,

would ensure that the cost of tickets for Cloverleafs games would remain affordable.

“If we had to do any major renovations like they do in these big cities, it would certainly cost the fans a lot more,” Reece said. “The labor we are doing right now is just stuff we would have to do anyway,” he said. “So fans can be assured that costs will be kept reasonable for those buying tickets. ”

Ticket prices for season tickets will be $200 for box seats; $180 for reserve seats; $150 for grandstand seats; and $100 for general admission.