A History Of Valley Field, The West Side’s Crown Jewel [Video]
Also known as Sullivan Field, the cozy field built into a tree lined neighborhood along Valley Road, has been slowly getting restored to its original luster.
Built in the late 1930s, the field has fallen on hard times recently, but some West Siders, led by Andy DeVries and Paul Soltysiak, have led a charge to rejuvenate and rehab the facility.
They have established a Facebook group to help fund raise through sales of Valley Field merchandise like t-shirts and caps.
They also have a website where you can find where to purchase merchandise and how you can help out.
So far, they have raised enough funds to fix the playing surface to the point where the field hosted some high school baseball games this spring.
As they continue their fund raising efforts, they have also begun rehabbing some of the structures on the property, which is located on Valley Road between 4th and 6th streets.
To that end, the group has put together this marvelous history of the stadium, and some of the amazing lore behind, including a list of some of the professional players like Kirk Gibson and Dave Rozema, who played in amateur games as young men at Sullivan Field.
The field was the home of the famous Sullivan's Furniture amateur baseball teams that were hugely successful back in the '60s and '70s and won four national titles while calling the field home.
It was also home to the Negro Leagues' Grand Rapids Black Sox, who played there in the '40s and '50s. The team also played at Bigelow Field and Alger Field near Reeds Lake.