GALION — Making an impact on and off the field is the goal set forth by organizers of the Galion Graders baseball club. The franchise is the newest member of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL).
Graders officials hope the ballclub can be a gateway for area young people to gain valuable experience that could lead to future success.
“There is also potential to expose our youth to the opportunities that come with having a collegiate league in town,” said Gary Frankhouse, Economic Development Coordinator for the Crawford County Education and Economic Development Partnership. “Sports Administration offers careers in broadcasting, operations, promotions, concessions, merchandising, fundraising and marketing.”
Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary said area young people have already taken advantage of the opportunities offered by the Graders.
“The whole idea is to try and provide opportunities for local people on the field and off,” said O’Leary. “We’ve already had local kids interning for the Graders effort during the winter, and we have summer interns lined up from Bucyrus and Crestline.”
Local talent on the field includes pitchers Austin Prosser from Galion, who pitches for Bluffton University; Brody Basilone from Lexington, an outfielder and pitcher at Sinclair Community College in Springfield, Ohio; outfielder Austin Adams of Crestline, who plays for the University of Findlay; and Justin Lewis of Shelby, who plays for Otterbein.
The Graders will play on their home field for the first time at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday against the Southern Ohio Copperheads. Fireworks will be presented after the game at James D. Heddleson Field at Heise Park. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Galion Youth Baseball players wearing team jerseys will be admitted free of charge.
Frankhouse said fans will enjoy a variety of menu items at the concession stand provided by Amanda Robertson with Chaos Café in Shelby. Specialty wraps, fresh cut fries and other gourmet options are sure to be a hit, he said.