Groundbreaking ceremony held for Foundry Field in South Bend

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 11:25 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday for a high-quality public access baseball park in South Bend that’s designed to bring vitality to the city’s urban core.

Foundry Field is a collaborative community project that hopes to increase interest in baseball and revitalize the Southeast neighborhood. It also celebrates the Foundry Giants and other underrepresented baseball and softball teams from South Bend’s past.

According to a news release from the University of Notre Dame, Foundry Field features a full-size diamond bordered by the elevated railroad tracks at the southeast corner of Southeast Park. It includes a grass infield, dirt base paths, a net-and-steel-pole backstop, an irrigation system, and a living hedge outfield fence.

The field will serve as the home for the South Bend-based adult recreational Sappy Moffitt Baseball League. It will also be used for youth baseball through the South Bend Community School Corporation and the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Future additions to Foundry Field may include a covered vintage grandstand, covered dugouts, a score booth with a PA system, and a public pavilion.

In addition to the field, the project will feature a series of murals and historical markers along the left and center field walls (which is technically the retaining wall on the south side of the elevated tracks). These murals will tell the story of the Foundry Giants and other teams and individuals important to South Bend baseball and softball history.

“Man, it feels great,” said Clinton Carlson, an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame. “The best part about it is seeing the community come out. The Boys & Girls Club were here yesterday. They got to sign posters that the kids made of these men that played on the Foundry Giants. We had Riley High School here yesterday helping paint all the murals and everything. And then to have family members — the Poindexters were here. A family that didn’t know their grandpa played baseball and he’s a key member of our community. He contributed by his labor at Studebaker and as a longtime sheriff’s deputy for our community.”

The Foundry Giants played in the Studebaker Industrial League in the 1920s. The team included several players that went on to play in the Negro Leagues.

For more information about the Foundry Field project, click here.