The public will have a chance to see the new seating at Leahy Bowl of Winner when an open house is held on Monday, June 27. The Winner Junior Teeners and Teeners will host the Colome Junior Teeners and Teeners that night starting at 6 p.m. There will be free admission that night. In addition, there will be a Little League recognition.
The new grandstand replaces the old wooden bleachers which served Leahy Bowl well for many years. However, there was rot found on some of the support columns. As a safety issue, the decision was made to tear down the wooden bleachers.
Divine Concrete of Bonesteel was the contractor on the grandstand project.
The new grandstand is made out of concrete and will allow seating for decades as people come to Leahy Bowl to watch their favorite teams in action. The summer is busy at Leahy Bowl with Junior Teener, Teener, Legion and amateur baseball games. Winner also hosts post season games. Prior to the start of the summer season, Leahy Bowl is the home of the Winner/Colome club baseball team. This year the Royals won the state championship in Sioux Falls.
The new grandstand will have two rows of open concrete space for people to bring their lawn chairs and set and enjoy the game. There will be a couple of rows of aluminum seats which will have backs and there are two rows of stadium seats which were formerly used at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md.
The seats were purchased from Archer Seating in New Jersey. This firm sells surplus stadium seats from stadiums that have been renovated or demolished. A baseball fan saw the seats for sale from Archer Seating. He told the city of the opportunity to get the seats. The city purchased about 80 stadium seats.
Winner has a historic connection to the Orioles due to Jim Palmer who played 19 years with the Orioles. Palmer played in the Basin League in Winner. The Basin League was home to future professional players and amateurs. Winner was one of the teams in the Basin League and saw several players who went on to the majors get their start right here at Leahy Bowl.
So it is neat that seats from Camden Yards will have a permanent home in Winner.
This is a connection to the Baltimore Orioles that will last forever and Winner is fortunate to have a part of this history in its new grandstand. The iconic Leahy Bowl was the home of some great Basin League players who went on to play in the majors.
So as you sit in these stadium seat, close your eyes and just image Jim Palmer, Jim Lonborg who played for the Boston Red Sox and Merv Rettenmund who played with the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and the California Angels in their college hay day playing on Leahy Bowl.