Aug
21

Showers Field is the pride of baseball in DuBois

Showers Field is the pride of baseball in DuBois.

From the WJAC-TV 6 feature on Youtube:

Published on Aug 21, 2014
By: WJAC Web Staff

DUBOIS, Pa. — America’s pastime may not be as big as it used to be in some parts of the country, but in DuBois, it is the sport of choice. For several years, the home of the DuBois Area High School baseball team was in a state of disrepair, but changes over the past year has made it a gem in the community.

Showers Field, located off Maple Avenue, hasn’t been the lush baseball diamond it currently is today. Recently it was a muddy mess and seen by some to be a safety hazard.

DuBois baseball head coach Todd Steiner said the facility upgrades are spectacular.

“Night and day,” Steiner said. “We went from the worst field in District 9 to the best field in District 9, a big improvement.”

The field was built in the late 1940s by “Gamey” Showers, as he was known. The field was the place to play back in the day.

Gamey’s son, John Showers, remembered when the field hosted teams from across the country for a Labor Day tournament.

“Thirty-six teams that came from Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio. It had to start the first week of August because there were so many teams,” Showers said.

The field began to deteriorate and after Gamey’s death in 1975 it became neglected. The high school team continued to use Showers Field, despite the best field in town being at City Park, just a short walk away.

“It was disappointing coming here because you’d have a nicer field when you were 12-years-old,” Steiner said.

Last year, city leaders decided to do something about Showers Field. Plans were developed for a facility overhaul that was decades overdue.

The field was replanted, the infield received new dirt and other upgrades took place.

“The overall appearance is so much better,” Steiner said. “The kids, the excitement, is the biggest thing. The kids love being here. They’re excited, they want to play.”

Showers Field made its debut comeback on opening day for the DuBois Beavers. Senior shortstop Devon Walker said it was an amazing atmosphere for the first day, with the bleachers full.

“A lot more than last year, especially the first game,” Walker said. “There were a ton of people here, it was packed. That usually doesn’t happen at a high school game.”

The facility renovations continued throughout the season, and continued into the summer.

“[It’s] a work in progress,” Steiner said. “New things pop up all the time. The LED screen is new today. We come over, don’t even know what’s going on.”

A 500-seat grandstand is expected to be installed behind home plate, more seats are to be added along the walkway behind the stadium and a new parking lot is to be built.

“If my dad saw this field, I think that sun would be shining as much as his face would be shining,” Showers said. “He loved baseball as much as his family.”

The DuBois Redevelopment Authority said plans continue to be drawn up for the next phases of renovation at the field.

Link to video and story on WJAC-TV 6 YouTube page