Time to really celebrate the Peaches
On Saturday morning, Tom Warner and I will welcome Dr. Kat Williams and Greg Schwanke to the Stateline Sports Hour to talk about the Rockford Peaches.
Williams and Schwanke are members of the International Women's Baseball Center, which wants to establish Rockford as the world center for women's baseball by building a $7 million educational center and museum across from Beyer Stadium.
Schwanke is a local contractor who was the driving force behind restoring Beyer Stadium to how it looked when the Peaches were dominating the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1943 to 1954.
Williams is a history professional and the University of Marshall in West Virginia. Williams is in town to announce the series of events planned to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the league immortalized by the 1992 move "A League of Our Own."
In late May and early June, Rockford is going to become very Peachy. The schedule of events:
- Wednesday, May 30: "Diamonds, Denim and Stars" from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coronado Theater. This is a family-friendly fair inside and outside of the Coronado.
- Friday, June 1: Rockford Peaches Day at Rockford City Market from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. That day also will be Rockford Peaches Day on State with downtown vendors offering discounts on a variety of Peach-themed offerings. When the sun goes down, head over to Friday Night Flix, which will be showing "A League of Their Own."
- Saturday, June 2: "Baseball in the STEAM Zone" family day at Beyer Stadium from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be a variety of baseball-related educational activities at the fully restored Beyer. That will be followed at 1 p.m. by an exhibition game between the Rockford Starfires, a women's baseball team, and local celebrities and former players. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara will throw out the first pitch.
- Sunday, June 3: A day-long home run derby and closing ceremony from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Players of all ages and genders will be taking their swings to win the derby by age brackets. The final group though will be a showdown between the best sluggers from the Rockford police and fire departments.
That's an ambitious and fun week and the majority of the money raised will go towards making that educational center and museum a reality.