“We have a rich history of building not only young women and men in the sport of baseball and softball but also the park,” said association president Jeno Marvel. “Our association has spent countless dollars in capital improvements over the years at the park in conjunction with the city.”
Wayne Henderson, the group’s executive vice president and a board member for about 14 years, said the association’s fundraising efforts have led to three additional baseball fields, lights, a concession stand, batting cages and other park improvements.
“When we first started, you just had the four main fields,” he said. “There was no concession stand. There were no bathrooms out there.”
Throughout two decades, the Ocee Park Athletic Association has seen participation in youth baseball and softball quadruple.
“When it first started, we had just a little over 250 participants. Now we have annually well over 1,000 participants,” Henderson said.
Many lasting friendships and relationships started at the park, he added.
Saturday’s All-Star Day will include games for players ages 5 to 16.
Two special ceremonies are planned at 9 and 11:30 a.m. to recognize the association’s former presidents and board members.
“For some of them, this will be the first time they’ll be coming back to the park in years,” Henderson said.
Past presidents who will be attending the anniversary ceremony include Grant Adams, Bobby and Kathy Lang, Reid Conklin, Jim Eick, Frank Chiodo, Andy Williams, Hank Wiley, Wayne Henderson and Rob Latszch.
Randy Nichols and Reese Jacobs, who were instrumental in building the softball program for girls, will also receive recognition during the celebration.
If you go:
What: Ocee Park Athletic Association’s 20th Anniversary Celebration and All-Star Day
Where: Ocee Park, 10900 Buice Road, Johns Creek
When: Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.