By Sam Terry
Last Friday, Glasgow resident Sam Royse had his best day ever at the ball field he’s been playing on for most of his life – John E. Richardson Ballpark at Gorin Park. He’s played it as a Little League kid, a high school athlete, and he’s coached his team at the same ballpark for decades. In between, he volunteered his time to continue the work of the late Ed Albany in improving the venue to become one of the best in the region.
Now in his 34th year as Head Coach of the Glasgow High School baseball team, Royse told a crowd gathered at the field about his most vivid memory made at the site. He was surrounded by current and former players, childhood chums, family members, and friends who have played a role in his baseball career.
“I was about 8 years old and was playing in the Lou Gehrig League on a team called the ‘The Chicks,’ – yes, we really were called that – and the games were played right here on this field,” Royse recalled. “The games started at 5 o’clock, our parents got us here on time, we wore our husky jeans and t-shirts that said ‘The Chicks’ on them.”
Having captured the full attention of the audience, Royse said, “I don’t know who we were playing but during the game I hit a screaming ground ball that somehow, I don’t know, rolled 20-25 feet out into left field. Bases loaded and their left fielder must have been picking daisies or rocks or something. I got a grand slam. In those days, you played 4 innings or you had an hour time limit. Time got us and it reverted back to the previous inning and my grand slam didn’t count.”
“You can check it. Fred Ganter at the newspaper had a headline that said ‘Sorry, Sam’ and then he explained the situation in his story. Now that’s my first memory of this place. But today, this won’t be my last memory here, but it will be the most special memory of all,” Royse said during a ceremony changing the name of the venue to John E. Richardson Stadium at Sam Royse Field. The Glasgow City Council approved the change last fall but opted to wait until baseball season was underway to unveil a new sign at the site.
“This is not about me or my family, it’s about so many people – I can’t begin to start naming them off and I don’t want to forget somebody. The guy that got all of this transformation started was Ed Albany. Others tried, but Mr. Albany got this going. Along the way there were so many that helped to transform this place – there were Recreation Department directors, coaches, players, school boards, school superintendents, and the list goes on and on,” Royse said.
Not only did the City of Glasgow unveil a new sign, Mayor Dick Doty presented a proclamation to Royse. Glasgow High School Athletic Director Craig Cassady presented Royse with an original portrait depicting him at the ball field, painted by longtime friend and artist Dexter Bowles.
“I am overwhelmingly grateful,” Royse concluded as the ceremony ended.
John E. Richardson Stadium will continue to honor the late Glasgow attorney who was an integral part of the City’s Recreation Board that established Gorin Park in the 1950s.