About 100 from the Sheridan area gathered on the Wrench Ranch Hills future development Friday afternoon to view the area where the Sheridan Baseball Academy's complex will be built and to recognize contributors to the project.
Doubleday Park will be located in north Sheridan just south of the I-90 corridor. The name comes from Abner Doubleday – a distant relative of Sheridan resident and project's key financial backer, Neltje.
Myths say Doubleday “invented baseball”, but little recorded evidence supports the claim. However, some including MLB commissioner Bud Selig support the theory that Doubleday was the sport's earliest inventor.
Neltje addressed the crowd, and threw out the first pitch after cutting the ribbon to the entrance of the facility.
SBA board member Mike McCafferty says baseball needs a bigger presence in Sheridan.
McCafferty said that the indoor batting facility will be the first part of the complex built because it will offer legion players all the way down to the little leaguers the chance to play year-round baseball.
The complex will also include four outdoor fields. Along with expanding youth participation in baseball, the vision of the SBA is to promote a safer, more convenient viewing experience for the sport in Sheridan. It will also further use of the North Main Street area.
The facility will collaborate with the Sheridan Recreation District, Little League, Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball programs in Sheridan. He added that the Rec. District will continue to organize baseball in Sheridan.
More fundraising for the facility will still need to take place, as the SBA is a Wyoming nonprofit. Construction won't be complete for a couple of years.