Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

RICE CREEK BALLPARK

Morning Star, July 25, 2010, pg. 15

A friendly reminder: Don‘t forget to have some of my Albion picture books at your high school reunion. They are available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce.

Northwest of Albion is the settlement known as Rice Creek. There was a post office here until it was closed at the end of 1905. We have previously written about Rice Creek in this column. If you‘ve driven by Rice Creek recently, you might have noticed a sad scene: the ballpark there has been closed and overgrown. It was actually two years ago that Laupp Field was closed, due to a general change of sporting interests, population, schedules, and economics.

The Rice Creek ballpark was erected in 1960 next to the Rice Creek Cemetery, along 24 Mile Rd. at L Drive North, on farmland owned by Peter Laupp. The field was organized by Pete Owens and a committee of area residents. The Rice Creek Recreation Association was formed, and softball games were held here every summer for over four decades. The ballpark was a place where area families would come and watch their area teams play. There were bleachers, dugouts, bathrooms, a storage area, a picnic area, and of course a concession stand. All those structures were the result of labor and materials donated from area residents and businesses. Rice Creek teams went on to play in state and national tournaments.

Thelma Ousley has started a "Rice Creek Ballpark page on www.facebook.com. People have been submitting team photographs and sharing their memories of this once-popular recreation site. I encourage our readers to visit the webpage. Drive out to Rice Creek and see how things look today.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the memorial rock on the site, containing several plaques in memory of prominent ballpark officials. The first plaque is in memory of originator Pete Owens. Others: Nick Kopulos played and coached there, Walt Gill sponsored several teams and was involved from the beginning; Raymond Reed was a lifetime board member, and James Reed played there for many years. Dave Murray was on the board, and Bob Tanner was also involved in the early years.

Softball at Rice Creek ballpark, anyone?


Memorial Rock at Rice Creek

Next: RIEGER PARK SIGN


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