Brigham City goes to bat for Peaches baseball club

Dec 1 2013 - 11:45am

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Brigham City Peaches baseball club players. Courtesy photo.
Brigham City Peaches baseball club players. Courtesy photo.

BRIGHAM CITY -- City Hall has reached out to the Brigham City Peaches baseball team in its efforts at revitalizing the 92-year-old franchise.

After recent publicity of the push to buff up the hometown team, city officials contacted Manager Rob King to urge him to apply for a city grant. Peach fans have been lobbying the city for relief from fees charged for using the city's Pioneer Park lighted ball field, $300 a year for 12 home games, and whatever else assistance might be available. 

Last week Mayor Dennis Fife called King about the grant fund, the two-year-old Coordinated Community Initiative, which holds some $30,000 for grass-roots endeavors.

"He suggested the amount I should apply for, $5,000," King said. "That would cover new uniforms and much more." The Peaches currently play in a two-color T-shirt jersey, unlike the woven cloth, button-down, baseball-style jersey featuring a giant embroidered orange peach from the team's heyday, apparently extending from the 1930s to the '70s, according to Peach historians, 

"It's a cause that will help the community," Fife said. "We'd like to help them out with what they need." To date, four groups have applied for the grant funds, the applications to be reviewed by a grant board and divvied out before the end of the year.

"We're just trying to get the process rolling, and hopefully something good can come from this," said King.

Two former Brigham residents via the team's Facebook page and word of mouth have also recently contacted the team about making donations.

During the 1930s and '40s, the town team was a semi-pro outfit, at times even a farm team for the major leagues.

Baseball legends like Satchel Paige and Tommy Lasorda played against them on their path to the big leagues, Peaches fans say. The legendary Bob Feller made an appearance at the Peaches home field Pioneer Park in the 1970s for an exhibition.

The team has played continually, but for some likely down time for World War II in the 1940s, since 1921.

The Peaches play in the Northern Utah League with four Cache County teams much more heavily funded and sponsored, supporters say, who are not charged fees by their hosting ball parks.

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at (801)625-4238, tgurrister@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister.

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