O'Bannon getting facelift

Published 6:44 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

By By ANNA M. LEE Assistant Editor
The Park and Recreation board and the City of Brewton are working at O'Bannon Park to give the Babe Ruth baseball league a new place to practice.
Softball fields, like those currently at O'Bannon Park, are short of regulation baseball size, but one of those fields is being modified to meet regulation standards.
To do this, the city will lengthen the base lines to 90 feet, improve the back stop, build up the infield and add a pitcher's mound.
Improvements to the park are expected to be completed by mid-March, said Roger Chapman, Park and recreation Board chairman.
Babe Ruth league players will be able to practice at O'Bannon, while previously they could only practice on the area's other two regulation size baseball fields at T.R. Miller High School and W.S. Neal High School.
Babe Ruth players will still play their games at the high schools.
The modified field will also give 12-year-olds a place to practice so they get used to the bigger field before entering the Babe Ruth league, Chapman said.
Building a sports complex is one option the board and the city will consider in the next five years, Chapman said.
The Babe Ruth league is made up of about 100 13- to 15-year-old Brewton and East Brewton youths.
They will start practicing before school ends, but their games don't start until after the high school season ends. Last year, the league sent three teams to state competition, Chapman said.
The Park and Recreation Board operates on a budget of $200,000, managing city parks and maintaining an agreement with the YMCA to use the Y's sports park for little league games.
Other parks and recreation opportunities in Brewton include Burnt Corn Creek Park with its walking trail, disc golf park and special events like the carnival.
Dogwood Hills offers a playground for children and Sportsman Park has a playground, picnic area and facilities for softball.