May 10, 2017 // 2:17 PM

A Day at the Ballpark

Written by Juanita Fox

On Wednesday, May 10 baseball fans from Garden Spot Village and Maple Farm enjoyed a picture perfect sky and warm spring sunshine while watching America’s favorite pastime at Clipper Stadium. The Lancaster Barnstormers played the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, but the experience was more about enjoying the game of baseball and spending time with friends.

Lifelong baseball and avid Phillies fan Ron Schneider gets to the ballpark as often as Garden Spot Village offers the opportunity. While he never played baseball in an organized league, he enjoyed playing baseball on the playground as a child and watches the game whenever he gets a chance.

Melvin Mitchell played baseball and softball in New Holland men’s leagues from age 14 to age 30. He says, “I like the game; it’s fascinating.” Mitchell, as owner of Amelia’s Grocery Outlet, was a major sponsor of the Barnstormers when they came to Lancaster in 2003. For the first 8-10 years, Amelia’s provided boxes of cracker jacks at the stadium for game attendees. For Mitchell, returning to the ballpark is only natural and he welcomed the opportunity to enjoy a game once again.

Bob Straton, who played outfield for his high school team, says in addition to enjoying the game of baseball, a day at the ballpark is good because, “I like to be outside, enjoy the fresh air, a good hot dog, peanuts and spend time with friends.”

Frank Blest echoed Straton’s sentiments adding, “I enjoy baseball. I came last year in June and I want to support the Barnstormers.” Blest has a special connection to the Barnstormers as his granddaughter plans to marry a member of the Barnstormer’s staff next month.

Carl DePue and Jefferson Zoller, who live at Maple Farm, enjoyed experiencing a day at the ballpark too. DePue, a Phillies fan, played first base in high school and hoped the Barnstormers would pull off a win. Zoller echoes DePue’s support of the Phillies and says he joined the group simply because, “I like to watch baseball.”

Whether the Barnstormers win or lose the game, the opportunity to live with purpose in community created a lasting memory for all who attended.