It sits quietly in a west side neighborhood. Built back in 1937, Valley Field has been part of Grand Rapids history. The Fans of Valley Field are working hard to restore the ball park and have several events scheduled for this summer and fall.

The City of Grand Rapids will be funding a large part of the renovation project for Sullivan Field (as it is officially called today). A millage was passed late last year. The remaining costs are the responsibility of the Fans of Valley Field group through donations.

Sullivan (Valley) Field
Photo: Paul Soltysiak via Vimeo

For years, Valley Field was used for city league and high school baseballs games. It was also the home field for the famous Sullivan's Furniture amateur baseball teams which won four national titles in the 60s and 70s. Before that, it was home to the Negro Leagues' Grand Rapids Black Sox in the 40s and 50s. Many west side residents may also remember going to ice skate at Valley Field in the winter.

Several major league baseball players started their careers by playing at Valley Field, including  Kirk Gibson, Al Kaline, Dave Rozema, and Mickey Stanley.

Bob Sullivan
Photo: Paul Soltysia via Vimeo

In 1996, Valley Field was officially renamed Sullivan Field in honor of Bob Sullivan. Bob was a long time sponsor of the Grand Rapids Sullivans. Like many places that end up being re-named for various reasons, many still refer to it as Valley Field.

As part of their fund raising efforts, the Fans of Valley Field have a variety of events scheduled to take place at the ball park this summer and fall. There will be everything from whiffle ball tournaments, to music, to comedy, a block party, to the return of the chili cook-off. Here is the list of events currently on the schedule:

Friday, May 20 -- Whiffle Ball Tournament

Friday, June 17 -- Listening Party

Saturday, June 18 -- Fathers' Day Catch

Friday, June 24 -- Soul Syndicate

Saturday, July 2 -- Red, White & Blue at the Ballpark - Asama Johnson & The Associates of the Blue (and others)

Friday, July 22 -- Brena

Saturday, July 30 -- Grand Rapids Symphony

Friday, August 5 -- Stone Soul Rhythm

Saturday, August 13 -- Silent Disco

Friday, August 19 -- The 6 Pak & Stand Up Comedy

Saturday, August 27 -- Westside Block Party featuring a .1K Race, Princesses, Crafts and Other Vendors, and Live Music.

Friday, September 16 -- Ballpark Jam with Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys and others

Friday, September 23 -- Lipstick Jodi

Saturday, October 1 -- Chili Cook Off with Live Music including Project 90

Additional details and ticketing information for the above events is still to come. You can keep up-to-date with the efforts of the Fans of Valley field on their website and also on their Facebook page.

People at Sullivan Field
Photo: Paul Soltysiak via Vimeo

Here is a great video on Sullivan (Valley) Field that was produced by the group...

Sullivan (Valley) Field from paul soltysiak on Vimeo.

If you get a chance to drive by or visit the field, you will notice that several improvements have already been made. Sullivan (Valley) Field is located at Six Street and Valley Avenue on the city's northwest side.

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