Baseball Field Returning to Historic Site in Parchment
Work is underway in Kalamazoo County to transform an area back to its roots as a baseball field at a local park.
It was announced in May of 2018 that an effort to raise money to put a baseball field back in the lower-end of Kindleberger Park in the city of Parchment was underway. Parchment Little League President Dodi Elsman Leckie posted an update with a photo on October 1st showing the early going of the restoration effort.
Yes! Parchment Little League is bringing baseball back to the lower part of the park. We currently do not have a full size field for our junior baseball program. We had a vision less than two years ago to restore the original baseball field below. Construction started this week. An old fence is removed and the infield has been started.
This could not be possible with so many donations and support from our community. Once finished, we will have a ceremony and celebrate properly. We will officially bring our Parchment Little League Junior boys home to play. Our purpose was to bring baseball back to the lower part of the park not only for Little League but our community.
I cried when I got first pictures today. Very proud of our town. We Are Parchment. - Parchment Little League President Dodi Elsman Leckie
Kindleberger Park in Parchment was one of the premiere hot spots for local baseball in the Kalamazoo area decades ago. Along with many cities in the United States, the popularity of baseball exploded in the Kalamazoo area from the 1920s to the 1950s.
In the early 1930s, the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company built what was then called KVP Park for their company baseball team.
During its peak popularity, attendance was often more than 8,000 people. The KVP team was occasionally able to bring in major league teams for exhibition games including visits from the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers, who one time brought Hall of Famer Charles Gehringer to town.
But in the early 1980s, the ballpark was no longer in use and was converted into a two field softball complex for little league games, tournaments and recreational games. During the last several years, the softball fields also were not used anymore other than for some occasional practices.
But baseball will soon be back at the lower-end of the park as Parchment looks forward to tapping into their history while providing a great place for future baseball players in the community.
Donations are still being accepted for the project. If you would like to make a contribution, you can send a check to the location listed below:
Parchment Little League
P.O. Box 612
Parchment, MI 49004