Odin Ball Park

By Edith Holsapple

The Odin Ball Park became a reality through the village president, Gerald Eaglin, and the following board members: Charles Zelhart, Robert Holsapple, Bill Wade, Carl Stevenson, Melvin Taylor, Grant McConnell, Marty Yaw, and clerk H. W. Jackson. The opportunity to purchase 19 acres, located south and a little wet of town became available, and after all the legal work was completed work began in September, 1957. Henne and Schuller were hired to clear the land and level it for drainage and after that was completed the baseball diamond was begun. The backstop was put in place by Robert Holsapple by welding sucker rods. After that Holsapple built the first bleachers in October of 1957. A permanent concessions stand was built in April 1960 by Bill Soulon. Electricity had been added the prior year.

In September, 1960, Gene Lusch contacted the village board on behalf of John Lusch stating that he wished to sell an additional 20 acres. The purchase was made extending the park to its current size. The park became the first site of the first fireworks display in 1958. Donations from businesses, the town board, and citizens made this possible. Marty Yawand Robert Holsaple set up and set off the display. Volunteer work is an essential part of a small town. Don Farthing and Crawford Hawley spent many hours at the park. They kept the grass mowed, using their own mowers. They were always available to make needed repairs, chalk the field, keep the bases in place, and provide coaching.

Don Farthing coached the Odin Girls All Star Team for many years. He provided all the equipment, bats, and balls, at his expense. Farthing always wanted the kids in Odin to have positive things to do and his dedication covered many years, beginning in the 1960’s. Farthing also gave children baseballs by repairing old balls that were thrown away.