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Baseball bash: Inaugural event to bring community together

Bob Young Field is a place for the community to come together and enjoy baseball.

Ellsworth head coach Ryan Christenson and Hubbers player-manager Jeremiah Paulson know that and they’re intent on keeping it that way.

Saturday, July 15, the inaugural Ellsworth Baseball Bash will be held at Bob Young Field in Summit Park. The festivities will begin with a Youth Home Run Derby at 3:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., the Ellsworth Legion team will take on a team of Ellsworth alumni. All of that leads up to a St. Croix Valley Baseball League game between Ellsworth and Bay City at 7:30 p.m.

Auctions will take place throughout the day and raffle tickets will be sold.

The goal is to bring the community together through baseball and raise money to put back into improvements for the park.

“We’re trying to continue with the field improvements up here at Bob Young and continually work with the village, the Hubbers, and our school district to continue to put improvements into the field,” Christenson said. “Obviously, we have our scoreboard project wrapping up right now. About three years ago we redid our infield and outfield.”

The most recent project undertaken at Bob Young Field was to improve the scoreboard. Five local businesses, all of which will be recognized Saturday evening, stepped up to fund the project. The scoreboard is scheduled to be ready for games Saturday.

“We want to continue to see that grow where the community can come to this ballpark and have a spot that they can be proud of,” Christenson said. “It all builds off of the tradition that we’ve worked so hard to establish.”

More projects that are on the horizon for Bob Young Field are concrete batting cages behind the scoreboard in right field. Other projects on the list are permanent seating and new dugouts. The timeline for these projects is flexible depending upon coordination with the school district, village and potential sponsors for projects.

Fittingly, the Hubbers will play against Bay City Saturday night. Christenson said the conversations of what could be built at Bob Young Field started in earnest when Ellsworth and Prescott played an extra-inning regional final game at the park followed by an Ellsworth vs. Bay City game afterwards.

“The whole hillside was people,” Christenson said. “You couldn’t see any green.”

Now that River Falls has built its beautiful ballpark, the bar has been raised and Ellsworth hopes to one day meet it.

Which leads to why Christenson, personally, believes this endeavor is worth it.

“When you live in a smaller community, you’re a little bit more invested in your community,” he said. “You can see a lot of value in giving back to the community and collaborating with other people to make this happen.”