Derby City Field struggling - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Derby City Field struggling

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- The Derby City Baseball Field has been around since the '70s but the volunteers who operate it say this could be its last season.

There are nine members on the board for Derby City Field and they all volunteer their time, plus they work separate full time jobs.

They say they're struggling with time and money.

"I work forty hours a week at GE and spend thirty-five hours a week out here and I just can't do it anymore," said Sam Cahoe, VP of Derby City Field.

Cahoe wears several hats at Derby City Field.

He, along with other volunteers, helped build the facility in 1974.

"We do it all. We do the field, we empty the garbage," said Cahoe.

He also serves as Vice President of the board, makes food for the concession stand and he coaches one of their five teams.

Former Alderman Cyril Allgeier is the man who started it all.

He passed away in 2011.

Cahoe says they've tried to continue his legacy but the resources just aren't there anymore.

"Cyril built this for kids coming out of high school and college kids that didn't have any place else to play that wanted to keep playing and so that's why we've kept going. I have no idea where they're going to play ball after this," Cahoe told WDRB.

"He'd be sad but I think he'd understand because he gave his life to this place and we've given as much as we can," said Jay Tewell, Derby City League Director.

The little money they make comes from concessions and all of it goes back into maintaining the field.

Fans pay two bucks to get in but there are only a handful of people showing up to games.

We found a photo from the '80s when the bleachers were packed on a regular basis.

Players show up several times a week with their own equipment and in uniforms they've paid for themselves.

Their cheering section may be thin but these guys are dedicated to the Derby City League for one reason.

"For the love of the game. We love baseball," Jacob Wardrip told WDRB.

Wardrip says he and his teammates are disappointed with talk of the league coming to an end.

"It's been around for so long it's almost like you just expect it every year," he said.

It's the comradery they say they'll miss the most.

"Just being in the dugout. Anyone that plays baseball knows you don't talk about the games after baseball. You talk about the stories and the memories," said Wardrip.

"I've got 3 kids on my team right now that I've been coaching since they were 14 years old and they're 26 now so that's the thing I'll miss," Cahoe told WDRB.

Spalding University and Manual High also play there.

The city owns the land and the league leases it.

Once the summer season is over, they're going to suggest the city or Spalding takes it over.

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