The central Little Rock community plays a large role in maintaining in Arkansas’ oldest operating ballpark Lamar Porter Field, which annually costs between $15,000 and $18,000. Boys and Girls Club employees meet many of the day-in, day-out needs. Little Rock Catholic High and Episcopal Collegiate School each pay $2,500 a spring to the use the field for high school baseball season. Friends of Lamar Porter Field, an organization formed by people who grew up playing on the field, or had parents who did, donates about $5,000 a year, says Jay Rogers, one of the field’s trustees.
There have been recent improvements to Lamar Porter – an electronic scoreboard, a leveled field and a new outfield fence – but a thorough renovation of its structure awaits. The trustees have hired an architectural firm to study ways to improve the the National Registry of Historic Places site, especially improving drainage and renovating the 75-year-old dugouts. After that study, a fundraising campaign will start. The goal is about $150,000.
Despite baseball’s waning popularity, Rogers believes there are still plenty neighborhood kids who want to play it. “What you have to have is a nice facility to attract them.”
Originally published as a sidebar to this Sync magazine article