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.

Kindleberger Park in Parchment - Courtesy Kim Yancey

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. Like many cities in in the United States, the popularity of baseball exploded locally between the 1920s and 1950s.

Photo of St. Louis Cardinals playing in Parchment in the 1930s (Courtesy Erin Leroy)

In the early 1930s, the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company built what was then called KVP Park for their company baseball team.

Vintage postcard photo of baseball field at Kindleberger Park (Courtesy of Richard Kinney)

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.

 

Article about Detroit Tigers playing baseball game in Parchment (Courtesy Tom Maas)

But in the early 1980s, the baseball stadium at that site that been used for decades but was no longer in use was converted into a two field softball complex for little league games, tournaments and recreational games.

Remnants of seating areas can be seen around the park (Brandon James - Townsquare Media)

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