A little rain doesn’t faze true ballplayers, coaches, fans


The rain came down.

The hoods and umbrellas went up.

But the games at McCune Park in Canfield pressed on.

On a dreary, wet and chilly May night the Canfield Baseball Club could have canceled the games scheduled, but coaches, players and parents were more than prepared to play through the weather.

Encouraging chatter could be heard from all angles of the fields, whether it was the coach saying “good eye,” to the batter or a teammate on second base yelling “one more out.”

A strong sense of support was all over the 10-field park that night from the bleachers to the dugouts.

“We are out here and we are the diehard moms,” said Lina Lewis, who was watching her son play on one of the teams.

Lewis and the other moms laughed about how dirty the boys’ pants would be and said part of their job is keeping the boys looking good.

“Forget the spray and wash, it’s called the garbage can,” said Lewis.

As the rain continued to plunk off the helmets of the players, some fans and siblings sought shelter under the concession stand picnic area.

The smell of fresh cut french fries was thick in the air.

Shells of sunflower seeds covered the cement.

The concession stand’s biggest sellers, according to Jack Richardson, 46, are gum, fries and candy.

He estimated that the stand goes through more than 2,000 bags of sunflower seeds.

“I couldn’t even count the buckets of Double Bubble [gum],” he said.

Some mothers congregated under the concession roof trying to keep the younger siblings dry and entertained.

Although the softball program isn’t as big as the baseball program, the girls teams travel outside the club for their games.

“We bring different communities here and we get to go to those communities,” said Lisa Hepola, vice president of girls softball. “Our program is growing and going in the right direction,” she said.

At the end of the night, after lines of teams had shaken hands and all gear had been packed, muddy feet started piling into cars only to return for another night and another game at McCune Park.

Except for one person — Anthony Vross.

“I actually played on these fields in the 1960s,” he said.

But on this night, his job is to stay behind to tend to the fields and make sure the park was ready for the next night of play. Vross has been a manager for seven years. The last two years, he’s been vice president of grounds.

“I do this for the kids and I do it because I enjoy it.”

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