Blue skies and warm weather set the perfect backdrop Monday for the dedication of Larry DeVoe Memorial Field, Wellington High School’s new home for baseball at the village’s community park.
The project, in the works since 2015, cost approximately $75,000, with $52,000 covered via grants from the Cleveland Indians, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Lorain County Solid Waste District.
“It’s just great to see it all come together with everyone here enjoying it,” said village public works superintendent Bob Brasee, who oversaw the project. “We’ve had some difficulties with deer and high winds knocking down the fence but we fought through it. This is what we worked for. Everyone did a great job.”
DeVoe coached the Wellington Dukes varsity baseball team for more than 30 years starting in 1956, winning 11 conference championships during his tenure. He died in 2003 after also coaching basketball, football (where he contributed to five more conference crowns), and teaching physical education.
The DeVoe family was flanked by village officials, including Brasee, mayor Hans Schneider, and schools superintendent Ed Weber on the pitcher’s mound when time came to cut the ribbon.
The honors were left to David DeVoe, one of the coach’s three children.
“My dad was very passionate about baseball,” he said. “To see his name and everyone here enjoying themselves means everything. It really does.”
“This has to be one of the nicest fields in the area,” said Derek DeVoe, David’s brother. “It’s the nicest one I’ve seen. It’s an honor to see my dad’s name on here and it was a long time coming. He spent so much time here working on the field and helping the kids.”
The field measures 320 feet down each outfield line and 350 feet to center field. A new brick wall and fresh concrete walkways surround the backstop. It was constructed over an area formerly used as a brush dump and then as soccer fields.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.