SPIRE has donated $3,000 to Billy Peterson Field at the Dunning Sports Complex in St. Paul’s Midway to help bring baseball to underserved youth.
Billy Peterson coaches with Midway Baseball, a program of the Dunning Boosters, that originally began as "Midway Little League" in 1990 with approximately 60 youth ages 10-12 years-old. Since then, the program has grown to almost 350 participants annually, serving youth 7-15 years-old. In addition to giving kids the opportunity for youth to play baseball, and experience the challenges, discipline and thrills of participating in sports, the program offers friendships gained and the reward of being part of a team.
Billy has been coaching kids in Saint Paul for the past sixty years, including baseball Hall-of-Famers Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield. Billy has coached an average of 16 teams per year, which is an estimated 21,000 youth reached throughout his coaching career. He also provides training for coaches and umpires, clinics for kids, and has a long-term partnership with the Minnesota Twins’ Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI). The RBI youth outreach program strives to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth, encourage academic achievement, and teach the value of teamwork.
Ten years ago, upon the field’s grand opening, Mayor Chris Coleman proclaimed May 22, 2010 Billy Peterson Day in Saint Paul, MN. Billy is a long-time SPIRE friend and member and was recently featured in one of SPIRE's commercials.
“I started coaching when I was 20 years old. I was almost as young as the kids I was coaching,” says Billy, “It was such a learning experience. When I get some of the old guys back that I used to coach – Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Steve Winfield – when we talk, it’s like we’re a bunch of brothers that grew up playing on the same team.”
“Billy Peterson is a legendary and humble youth baseball coach,” stated SPIRE President/CEO Dan Stoltz, “We are honored to be part of Billy’s legacy by supporting Midway Baseball and the Billy Peterson Field for years to come.”
About Midway Baseball
Midway Baseball is a nonprofit program of the Dunning Boosters and was founded in 1990 by local resident Jim Kelley. Our fields are located in St. Paul's Dunning Park, on Marshall Avenue at Syndicate Street, next to Concordia University. Dunning fields have a great baseball tradition and were home to MLB legends Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield and former MN Twin Joe Mauer. These Hall-of-Famers (Molitor & Winfield) were coached and mentored by Billy Peterson. We are fortunate that Billy continues to play an important role in our program.
About Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is a Major League Baseball youth outreach program designed to: Increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth; promote greater inclusion of youth with diverse backgrounds into the mainstream of the game; increase number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and professionally; encourage academic achievement; and teach the value of teamwork.