Bentonville Merchants Baseball Park
Posted: October 17 2014
Bentonville, AR – October 17, 2014…Bentonville Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce the official renaming of the Elm Tree Baseball fields, located at 201 Elm Tree Rd. On September 15th, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board voted to name the facility Merchants Baseball Park, in honor of The Bentonville Merchants, a local Semi-Professional Baseball Team of the 1940’s and 50’s.
During the past year, these ball fields have experienced many improvements, including a new concession and restroom building, sod, irrigation, new scoreboards, new fencing and new batting cages. In addition, Bentonville Parks and Recreation will begin construction on a new parking lot in November.
In 1954, The Merchants players and coaches believed that there was a need for youth baseball in Bentonville. Gaining community support, team sponsors for the first four teams, they created a program that would facilitate and support young boys’ participation in baseball. They created what is now the Bentonville Youth Baseball League.
The Bentonville Merchants Baseball Park naming recognizes and honor’s volunteerism and community service as exhibited by the Merchants, which included several well-known alumni such as Lindy McDaniel, Pat Summerall, Preston Carpenter, Lewis Carpenter, Hugh (Tater) Black and Al Knox. The team played at the old Municipal Field in Bentonville which was once located on 8th street.
The original managers of the first four youth teams were: Truman Boling (Braves), John Black (Cardinals), Hugh (Tater) Black (Dodgers) and Everett Russell (Giants). In addition the first four sponsor businesses were: Bank of Bentonville, Eagle Milling Co., Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club. The first league President was Bill McCurdy
2014 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Bentonville’s youth baseball program, which began with four teams, and has grown to include over 150 teams and 1,600 players.