WINNER, S.D. – Baseball supporters in Winner are trying to save night games at a field named for legendary Notre Dame football coach Frank Leahy, who grew up in the South Dakota town.
The Leahy Bowl sits at the bottom of a hill, with bleachers built into the hillsides. Spectators also can watch games from vehicles atop the hill.
One of the field’s eight 80-foot light towers blew down during a recent storm. The town doesn’t have the money to fix the problem and has suspended all games, The Daily Republic newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1n0GPQC ).
It will cost at least $140,000 to replace the blown-down tower and strengthen the others. The Winner Baseball Association is donating $5,000 and trying to raise another $50,000 in pledges for the first phase of the upgrade project before Monday’s City Council meeting.
If the money isn’t raised, the city will move forward with plans to tear down the remaining towers at a cost of $15,500, eliminating night games.
“I think it’s a very unique field and I’d hate to see it change,” said Glen McCready, treasurer of the baseball association.
Leahy, a native of O’Neill, Nebraska, coached Notre Dame in the 1940s and 1950s. His teams won five national championships. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1970. He died three years later.