Local groups pitch a $6K fundraising effort for 'The Ath'
Multiple Red Wing-based sluggers call 'The Ath' home throughout the spring and summer months — the Wingers, Aces, Legion, VFW and Red Wing Youth Baseball Association leagues. Formally labeled the Red Wing Athletic Field, the cherished baseball diamond hosts more than 80 games each year, while additional fields surrounding the complex hold over 170 games.
The field will see its first innings of the season on April 8, hosting the Winger baseball home opener. The current scoreboard at the field has stood for 28 years. Corey Tauer, president of Red Wing Youth Baseball Association, said failing and irreplaceable parts, combined with years of weathering have taken a toll on the scoreboard, leaving it in need of being replaced.
"Just like other parks and public places need upkeep, it was clear that it was time for an upgrade at the field," Tauer said.
Momentum for a new scoreboard began with a memorial donation after the death of Diane Tauer Pumarlo, an avid supporter of Red Wing baseball. Four major corporate sponsors — Red Wing Shoes Foundation, St. James Hotel, Merchants Bank and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota — will be featured on the scoreboard. Tauer said with the sponsors' monetary support and generous service donations from the City of Red Wing, the funding for the new scoreboard is nearly complete.
"We are looking to put the finishing touches on an iconic structure in the heart of Red Wing," Tauer wrote on a GoFundMe page.
Three baseball groups — Red Wing Aces, Wingers and Youth Baseball Association — are seeking $6,000 to cover the additional costs of adding pitch counts and increasing the overall size of the scoreboard.
The new scoreboard will be a 21-by-36 foot structure with a 4-by-10 foot LED message center.
Few places in Red Wing can offer such a quintessential summer experience than the beloved Athletic Field.
"The Ath is another place for people in Red Wing to be proud of," Tauer said. "The new scoreboard will really dress up the park and be another way to leave a good impression of Red Wing on our visiting teams."
Visit www.gofundme.com/red-wing-athletic-field-scoreboard to donate and see images of the new scoreboard.