Community Helps Rebuild Barton Township Ballpark

The Barton Township Ballpark is in much better shape Saturday than it was a week before after suffering heavy storm damage.

For many in Mackey, and the surrounding community the ballpark is a big deal. It's where they learned to play, and where they grew up.

So when the ballpark was ravaged by storms, many felt like they lost a part of them.

"I was in tears when I came out,” Barton softball coach Brooke Buck said.

“Yeah, I mean it was devastating. I grew up playing here. I've been here for years, and it means a lot, you know,” fellow coach Kayla Houchin said.

In 1986, Larry Englehardt helped build the ballpark. On Saturday, he came back to the place where his granddaughter hopes to continue to play.

"Yeah we're gonna build it back, hopefully a little better than it was,” Englehhardt said.

He's not alone. Dozens in the community came out to help restore the ballpark to its former glory by lifting fences, clearing debris, and doing everything else in between.

"It says a lot about our community, really,” Buck said. “It says a lot about the people we play ball against too."

One of those players is Harley May, who has fond memories playing against the home team.

"My grandparents came here last year. And they had their car parked out there. I kept aiming for that car. I hit it out there, but I didn't hit it over the fence. So that's like one of my best memories,” May recalled. "I don't really know anyone over here, but they’re pretty good guys from what I know of them. I mean, where I’m from, we help one another. We love one another. So I mean anything we can do to help these guys, we're gonna do.”

Coaches say they plan on playing games at the ballpark this week, which didn't seem possible a week ago.

But when you put a great team together, great things tend to happen.

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