The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was not awarded a Major League Baseball team until 1972. Long before the Texas Rangers arrived however, the sport’s roots gripped the region. Not through attachment to an organization or specific players donning Dallas uniforms, but because of a place.
Now approaching its 100th anniversary, Reverchon Park in downtown Dallas looks like a park that inspires thoughts of the past more than an outlook for the future. Years of neglect has left the park in a condition that barely suits beer leaguers, much less players like Johnny Bench, Willie Mays and Ty Cobb, all of whom played at Reverchon at one point or another.
“Seeing this park in the state that it is now breaks my heart,” Gerry Mecca, President of the North Texas Amateur Baseball League said.
Since the death of longtime caretaker H.B. Kernodle in 2007, the park has been in search for a new source of support. ‘Friends of Reverchon Park’, an activist group of local businesspeople, is looking to secure funds to improve the park and turn it into one of the community’s staple attractions. The group formed in 2005 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with the intent to preserve Reverchon’s history and has recently accelerated its efforts amidst further decay.
“It will be world-class. It will hold thousands of seats, it will be for the city, it will be for public and private groups,” Mecca proclaimed. “It will also hopefully attract, possibly, a minor league or an independent league team.”
The park is currently owned and operated by the city of Dallas but a private-public partnership could be the catalyst that springboards Reverchon into its second century. Baseball is a nostalgic sport, but if Friends of Reverchon are successful, players and fans will not have to feel stuck in the past while enjoying a game at the park when its 100th birthday comes in 2020.
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