Blochs build baseball history in Selma

Published 10:39 pm Monday, November 8, 2010

The park served as the home of the Selma Cloverleafs for many years. -- Rick Couch photo

Selma is a city with rich baseball history.

Most of that history either took place, or remembered, at Bloch Park. The park itself is named for a Selma resident whose passion for baseball kept the sport alive and well.

Former Selma Parks and Recreation director Jimmy Guthrie said the park is named for businessman Morris Bloch.

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“He was a Jewish gentleman that owned a hardware store,” Guthrie said. “He had a passion for baseball and wanted to keep it here in Selma. He was a fine, fine man.”

Guthrie said Bloch was a big part of keeping Class A baseball in Selma until the day he died.

After his passing, Guthrie said the Selma City Council named the park in his honor.

Guthrie, who grew up in Selma before retiring from the military and returning to Selma, said the games were a big part of his youth.

“When I was a young man, Mr. Paul Grist had the Knothole Club and all of us kids got into the baseball games for free back in those days,” he said.

Bloch Park is documented as the original site of spring training for the Chicago Cubs. The original stadium of the site of today’s Bloch Park is said to have been built in 1901.

When the original park burned, the Bloch family was responsible for its rebuilding on the original site.

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