(PHOTO CAPTION: Susan Kay Dugan, wife of the late baseball historian Mike Dugan, plays a game of catch earlier this year using the “sweetheart baseball” Mike gave her.)
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — The “Second Inning” of the community-wide game of baseball catch will take place Thursday, May 6, at Baseball Trail Park on Whittington Avenue.
The game will start at 5 p.m. and end at 6 p.m.
“Our first game of catch was so enjoyable we decided to play again,” Visit Hot Springs Marketing Director Bill Solleder said. “It was a great chance for people to get out in the fresh air after a year of contending with the COVID-19 restrictions and toss a baseball around.
“One of the ‘stars’ of our first game of catch was Susan Kay Dugan, the wife of the late Mike Dugan, who was Arkansas’s foremost baseball historian and the motivating force of both the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail and the new youth baseball complex at Majestic Park at Carson and Belding streets. Susan brought along her glove and a special ‘sweetheart baseball’ that Mike gave her. It features stitching in the shape of a heart, and it brought along with it sweet memories of Mike.
“We’re hoping Susan and a slew of other folks will turn out May 6 and chunk the old horsehide around again. It’ll be great fun. Bring your own glove and ball, and enjoy springtime in Hot Springs. It’s free.”
The idea for Hot Springs’ game of catch was inspired by a New York Times article describing how a Dallas resident looking for a baseball buddy in early January wound up with a passel of folks tossing around a baseball in what became a large game of catch — the easygoing pastime in which people chunk the horsehide and enjoy each other’s company.
Baseball Trail Park, located at 1215 Whittington, is named for the Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail, which documents how and where scores of future Hall of Famers came to Hot Springs in the late-19th and 20th Centuries for spring training.
The games are organized by the City of Hot Springs Parks and Trails Department, Majestic Park Baseball Fields and Visit Hot Springs. Majestic Park Baseball Fields is the organization helping with the construction of the Majestic Park complex.
For more information call Bill Solleder at 501-321-2027.