Ron Pack remembers Engel Stadium's legacy

Ron Pack remembers Engel Stadium's legacy

June 6th, 2012 in Local Regional News

Local businessman Ron Pack remembers a time when Engel Stadium was more than a movie set.

He and "the boys from Dodds" played there for the 1960 state championship. As captain of that winning Central High School baseball team, he was one of those players that came from the school's former location on Dodds Avenue.

Local businessman Ron Pack displays a photo of the 1960 Central High School baseball team that won the state baseball tournament. Pack, who was captain of the team, remembers playing in Engel Stadium and what it was like when the ballpark was a fixture in the community.

Photo by Rachel Sauls

"I was there and it was vibrant," he said. "It was like family every night to go out to the park."

Some of Pack's best memories of the stadium include seeing world-famous players Harmon Killebrew and Willy Mays play with the Lookouts. He also remembers seeing Billy Graham visit the ballpark and watching Luther Massengill give away a new house at a game.

"Community, that's what it was all about," said Pack. "It meant more than just a baseball game or Engel Stadium."

Pack, who said he is glad to see Engel Stadium being revitalized for the film, said he would like to see that revitalization continue after the movie trailers are packed up.

"It was a very big part of our community," he said of the stadium. "It would make a wonderful museum, but not just about baseball, about the community."

As a young man playing baseball on an exceptional local team, Pack said he learned lifelong values like the importance of teamwork and putting others first, which have been a formula for a winning life. Engel Stadium, according to Pack, was a place where that was true for many other people in addition to himself.

"It was classic summer baseball," he said. "We were the 'boys from Dodds' and that says it all."