The discussion last week of a semi-pro baseball team possibly playing in Marion rekindled a question that I’ve had for some time. What happened to community baseball teams? If you read the excerpts from old newspapers, you’ve probably read about teams of adults playing teams from nearby towns. Why couldn’t that return?
Semi-pro baseball is intriguing, but it strikes me as a pipe dream in Marion. An amateur team could work, though, especially if some recent baseball standouts spend their summers between college years at home. I know a lot is devoted to youth sports leagues, but why should adults stop playing?
It would take a coordinated effort to establish teams to compete with, but I can pretty easily imagine an eight-team league of Marion, Hillsboro, Peabody, northern Marion County, Canton-Galva, Herington, Council Grove, and Chase County. I’m sure there are plenty of former baseball standouts who would like to play instead of just coaching. And imagine kids getting to cheer on their parents in sports for a change.
Another idea that has been on my mind recently is a concert and theater series at USD 408 Performing Arts Center. Marion has a beautiful venue for concerts, plays, and musicals that is terribly underused. Performances there should be a regular occurrence, not a special occasion.
When Colorado Christian University’s choir performed in March, that was a great example of the quality of performances Marion could have. Not everything needs to be that large of scale, of course. There are plenty of talented bluegrass musicians in the area, and I’m sure there would be interest in a concert featuring multiple church choirs. There are plenty of small colleges in the area that I’m sure would love to have tune-ups for competitive performances. And once in a while, you can get a concert by a group that is traveling and Marion is a convenient stop between other performances.
With schools facing tighter budgets, community theater could allow students to continue participating in theater productions. There could be fundraising concerns, but a big portion of that could be sidestepped by performing older plays. Anything published before 1923 is in the public domain, and that includes many of the classics.
I think organizing this would be the perfect way for the Chamber of Commerce to put its stamp on something. I’m on my way out, though, so these are just friendly suggestions. Do with them what you will.
— ADAM STEWART