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Lefty Grove hopes for dialogue at Tuesday meeting

Fandy.com Staff • Jul 19, 2011 at 12:23 AM

Want to go?

WHAT: Lefty Grove public forum

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: First United Methodist Church, 60 W. Main Street, Norwalk

INFO: Lefty Grove hopes to discuss with the VFW the future of the senior division, and address public concerns

The ongoing saga between the Norwalk Veteran Foreigns of War and the Lefty Grove Little League continues tonight in a public forum that hopes to answer some questions.

Lefty Grove Commissioner Scott Ford has called a meeting set for 6:30 p.m. today at the First United Methodist Church, 60 W. Main St. in hopes of opening a dialogue between the league and VFW, while answering questions from the concerned public.

"We feel this is an excellent opportunity for the public to hear both sides of the issue in order to reach an informed judgment concerning the matter," Ford said.

The point of emphasis swirls around Ike Liedorff Field, the oldest and one of the five baseball diamonds the league uses on VFW property. The VFW had decided it wants to turn Liedorff Field -- home to little league baseball for 56 years -- into a football field for the Junior Truckers, the city's grade-school football program.

The field was named after Leidorff , a longtime VFW member and Lefty Grove supporter who died last year. His family spread his ashes on the diamond.

If the field were to be demolished, it would essentially put an end to Lefty Grove's senior division for ages 13-14. The other diamonds do not have dimensions big enough to accommodate that age group.

The division is expected to have 75-to-125 players next summer according to senior division President Mike Babcock.

Meanwhile, the Junior Truckers were offered a field to use by City Parks and Recreation Director Ken Leber, but decided to turn that venture down.

Further escalating the situation, on July 10 select players showed up for the annual All-Star Game in the division, the last game of the summer to be played on the field.

However, upon arrival, both Ford and Babcock discovered the pitcher's mound had been destroyed, presumably by contractors, bleachers were pulled away from the field and the word "remove" spray-painted on concrete slabs near the dugout.

Ford, Babcock and other volunteers then scrambled to make the field playable again so the kids could get the All-Star Game in.

The next day on July 11, Ford and VFW Quartermaster Harold Dye agreed that no destruction would be done until at least October, which is when the yearly lease expires.

Dye has not returned phone calls to the Register or the Reflector on the matter.

Along with the general public, Ford indicated he invited Dye and anyone else associated with the VFW to attend tonight's meeting.

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