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MY FIELD OF DREAMS by JOHN GRAHAM
HERB MOREWITZ MEMORIAL
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***WELCOME TO THE HERB MOREWITZ MEMORIAL PAGE**Herb Morewitz was the leading booster to Baseball on the Peninsula and his beloved Peninsula War Memorial Stadium for 50 years. Herb left us several years ago but will never be forgotten. He approached me and Dorthy Jack back in the late 1970's about starting a Hall of Fame.Below is the account of the building of Peninsula War Memorial Stadium Herb wrote for our program in 1987.

HIT & RUN, BUNT & SCORE by Herb Morewitz April 1987-Walter Asburn,Chairman of the Activities Committee of the Newport News Eagle Lodge, called a "Baseball Rally" in July 1947. The rally was called to retain The Piedmont League on the Peninsula, namely the Newport News Dodgers, owned and operated by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mr Branch Rickey, President and General Manager, had announced due to poor and inadequate facilities on Virginia avenue,now Warwick Blvd, the Dodgers were seriously considering moving the Newport News franchise. About 240 enthusiastic Dodger fans attended the rally. Most, expressed themselves unkindly toward Mr. Rickey, bad mouthing him. I reminded these diehard fans that the purpose was to retain the Piedmont League franchise and not to bad mouth Mr. Rickey ** HIT ** I was elected Committee Chairman in August 1947 to arrange a meeting with Mr. Rickey. Bill Schweppe, then General Manager of the Newport News Dodgers and Frank Lawrence owner of the Portsmouth Cubs introduced us (Lee Ford,Forest Wornom and Bill Lilly) to Mr. Rickey. **RUN** Buzzy Bavasi ,assistant to Mr Rickey, came to Newport News enough to see if we were for real. He and Bill Schweppe highly recommened us to Mr. Rickey. Upon a gentleman's agreement with the understanding that we would erect the Peninsula War Memorial Stadium at a minimum cost of $150,000 and a maximum cost of $350,000 and lease to the Brooklyn Dodgers for five years an option to renew for an additional five years at a minimum rate of $35000 annually or maximum of $8500 annually or at .06% of the actual construction costs. Also a guaranteeing completion for the 1948 Piedmont League season. **BUNT** The Junior Chamber of Commerce under the Presidency of David G Blalock, assumed the resposibility of the fund raising campaign. We immediately consulted with l eading individuals, businesses, and industry. Mr Homer L. Ferguson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Newport News Shipbuiling encouraged us to the extent that he said "Do not allow anything to delay this worthy project. Not only will I personally assist but we, the Newport News Shipbuilding will cooperate" The Junior Chamber initiated its fund campaign drive with the sale of 100 $100,000 first mortage bonds using the 13 acres of land(site of present stadium) as collateral. Mr Rickey, Leo Durocher and Jackie Robinson attended the bond rallys all of which raised $235,000. **SCORE** June of 1948 Mr Branch Rickey attended the opening game of the stadium and said "Holy Toledo" who is responsible for those two light poles in the infield"."You and your acchitect," I responded. And the saga of Peninsula War Memorial Stadium had begun"...

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**IN MEMORY**HERB THANKS FOR YOUR STEWARDSHIP OF BASEBALL ON THE PENINSULA AND PENINSULA WAR MEMORIAL STADIUM. YOUR MENTORING AND FRIENDSIP WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN AND WE OPERATE THIS HALL OF FAME IN YOUR MEMORY!! *** During the late 60's the "WAR" part of War Memorial Stadium was dropped with most thinking an offical vote had taken place. No so and in 1976 it was restored *

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