Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - (Page 17)

Warner Robins brings Little League regionals to Middle Georgia BY BILL SHANKS Gov. Sonny Perdue, an alumnus of the Warner Robins Little League program, led the charge. He even flew in former Atlanta Braves great John Smoltz to help make the pitch. And once again, Warner Robins came out on top. “I think we did leverage the win in 2007 into making this happen,” says Jimmy Autry, senior vice president of member and community relations at Flint Energies, one of 42 electric cooperatives in Georgia and one of the local companies that helped in the effort. “The town was sports-crazy before, but it got focused on Little League Baseball.” “What got the ball rolling for Warner Robins was the ’07 success the boys had, and some folks began thinking it would be neat to have a regional area here,” says Jen Colvin, the Southeastern Region director. Warner Robins not only had to build an administration building for Colvin and her staff, but also a new stadium that could host the boys baseball and girls softball championships every year. The state winners from the eight states in the region would come to Warner Robins for a chance to move on to the national finals. The land that was selected, about 26 acres, is adjacent to the Flint Energies Sports Complex, built in 2000. Prior to that, the electric co-op sponsored Flint Field behind its original warehouse in downtown Warner Robins, where it was home to the Warner Robins American Little League since the early 1950s. Jay Flesher was retained by Little League as project manager. He was brought in to design the stadium, and believed the lay of the land behind the Flint facility made a huge difference. “That was part of the pitch from the very get-go. We were pitching a stadium that was a top-loading stadium (built down in a pit, with seats at ground level), and the topography would provide a situation where you could watch from the top down.” Flesher wanted the regional stadium in Warner Robins to have the same feel as the stadiums in Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series. “It’s very much a combination of all the facilities they have at Williamsport,” Flesher says. “The outfield slope is part of Lamade [Stadium, where the BRU CE A VER Y Shortstop Luke Elliott puts more than muscles into his throw. World Championship Game is played]. The top-loading bleacher part is a part that is close to Volunteer Stadium.” The result has been a stadium any minor league team would be proud to play in—a spectacular facility five miles off Interstate 75 that has become a tourist destination. “People who travel the interstate and are going to Florida for vacation are stopping by,” Flesher says. “The fact that we are so much more centrally located than they were in the past, it’s going to be a destination. The people of Warner Robins and Houston County understand that, and they’re excited about that opportunity.” Another advantage for Warner Robins: The other cities in the bidding offered a long-term lease for the stadium, while Warner Robins’ proposal was a bit different. “Once the construction is finished this summer, this is Little League property,” says Flesher. “There was a sizable dollar amount, the value of the land that was given by the county, that when the project is complete, will be deeded over to Little League.” The total cost of construction was $5.4 million, with the local and county BRUCE AVERY Above: Warner Robins 11- to 12-year-old girls softball team won the World Series last year. Right: The dedication ceremony June 12 for the new Little League park in Warner Robins included Gov. Sonny Perdue, players and community leaders cutting the ribbon. August 2010 More online at www.georgiamagazine.org 17 BRUCE AVERY http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2010

Georgia Magazine - August 2010
Contents
Viewpoint
Mailbox
Picture This?
Georgia News
Calendar
Festival Guide
Currents
Warner Robins Hits a Home Run
More Little League Action
For the Birds
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month
Snapshot
Additional Snapshot Photos
Bonus Recipe of the Month

Georgia Magazine - August 2010

Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Magazine - August 2010 (Page Cover1)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Magazine - August 2010 (Page Cover2)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Magazine - August 2010 (Page 3)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Contents (Page 4)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Viewpoint (Page 5)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Mailbox (Page 6)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Picture This? (Page 7)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia News (Page 8)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia News (Page 9)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Calendar (Page 10)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Festival Guide (Page 11)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Festival Guide (Page 12)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Festival Guide (Page 13)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Currents (Page 14)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Currents (Page 15)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Warner Robins Hits a Home Run (Page 16)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Warner Robins Hits a Home Run (Page 17)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Warner Robins Hits a Home Run (Page 18)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - More Little League Action (Page 18A)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - More Little League Action (Page 18B)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - For the Birds (Page 19)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - For the Birds (Page 20)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - For the Birds (Page 21)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Around Georgia (Page 22)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Around Georgia (Page 23)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - My Georgia (Page 24)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - My Georgia (Page 25)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Gardens (Page 26)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Gardens (Page 27)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 28)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 29)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 30)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 31)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 32)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 33)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Snapshot (Page 34)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Additional Snapshot Photos (Page 34A)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Bonus Recipe of the Month (Page 34B)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Bonus Recipe of the Month (Page Cover3)
Georgia Magazine - August 2010 - Bonus Recipe of the Month (Page Cover4)
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