Rushville Nebraska Baseball Field

entrance to baseball stadium


Starting in 1954, the Milwaukee Braves held a tryout camp in Rushville Nebraska. Rushville is a town in northwest Nebraska and has a population of about 1,500. The camp drew high school and college age kids from a 600 mile radius. The Rushville camp was one of those too good to be true stories. It starts with Albert and Mayre Modisett. They came from Virginia and settled in Rushville. When they died (one in 1935 the other in 1944) they left a significant endowement to the town of Rushville. The town built a city park, a community hall, a lodge, a home for old men and a ball diamond. The baseball park had substantial stands, a sodded infield, good lights and an underground sprinkler system. It was hailed as a layout worthy of a minor league team. Then came Gene Leahy, brother of Frank Leahy (yes that Frank Leahy). Gene played football for Creighton University (yes, Creighton had football at one time). He was also a light heavyweight boxer. According to the Baseball Digest he played in the Nebraska State League as an outfielder but I can find no record of him playing in the class "D" NSL. He was a pharmacist and insurance salesman in Rushville. Gene knew Fred Miller, an executive with the Braves. Miller introduced Leahy to John Quinn, manager of the Braves. The result was that Rushville held the only major league tryout school in Nebraska for a number of years. The town opened their homes to house the boys who came to Rushville. Everyone bought a ticket to attend the tryouts for $5.00. The tryouts consisted of two days of drills and instructions. On the third day two teams of all stars were picked and they played against each other. Crowds of 3,000, twice the population of Rushville were common for the game. The Braves promised that at least one boy would be invited to a minor league camp the next year.
The 1958 Baseball Guide indicated that Dale Hendrickson from Gering Nebraska was signed out of the Rushville school in 1954. He was 17 years old. Baseball Reference declares that he was born in Broadwater Nebraska, a town about an hour southeast of Gering. He played for Lawton in the Sooner State League in 1955 and played through the 1961 season in the minor leagues. While states like Michigan had 10 such schools and Ohio 7, there were few school west of the Mississippi. California had one tryout in Los Angeles run by Pittsburg and and New Mexico had one in Los Alamos run by the Cardinals. There were a couple of tryouts in Missouri run by Kansas City but Rushville was the closest for anyone in most of the plains states. grandstands at Rushville Baseball Stadium



Entrance to park As you can see the current condition of the park is not good. While the field itself is in pretty good condition, the grandstands could use some repair and some paint. This could be a gem of a park in northwest Nebraska and it is hoped that the civic pride that was so evident in the 1950's is resurrected and the park is restored.
The high school was consolidated with Gordon in 2006 and the high school is in Gordon. The only legion team in 2010 was in Gordon.



Rushville Nebraska Baseball Field Rushville Nebraska Scoreboard
In addition to the wooden grandstand the field
has bleachers down the third base side and above ground
The scoreboard is basic
and the field has good lights.



Rushville Nebraska Baseball Field Rushville Nebraska Scoreboard



Rushville Nebraska Baseball Field Rushville Nebraska Scoreboard
The dugouts are above ground
and no fencing.
Adjacent to the ball diamond is this
excellent bandshell type structure.

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