A generous donation from a national insurance company is sure to be a big hit with hundreds of Hancock County children. Safeco puts up new scoreboards on baseball fields around the country as part of its "PlayBall" program. The Bay Saint Louis sports complex is one of this year's recipients.
Matthew and Jonathan are two of about 500 children catching and throwing for the Bay St. Louis Babe Ruth Baseball League. The league plays its games at the Sports Complex. Next time, the boys are up to bat, they'll see something new in center field--an electronic scoreboard.
"That was a big help for us. Our league survives off of volunteers so we greatly appreciate what Safeco and the city of Bay St. Louis did because there is no way we could have afforded a scoreboard like this," Babe Ruth Baseball League member Ronnie Artigues.
In two years Safeco has pumped one million dollars into enhancing 62 community baseball fields. With a stack of applications, company officials credit local insurance agent Dave Treutel with helping Bay St. Louis make the cut.
"An agent like Dave Treutel is just the one it takes to really support the community and we want someone like him to represent Safeco and he does it well," Keith Anderson said.
The scoreboard is a scaled down version of the one the Mariners look to at Safeco field in Seattle. Truetel hopes playing under this new backdrop will inspire the young athletes.
"One day I'd like to see their future in the scoreboard. Whether they go on to major league baseball, or they go into professional business or whatever they do I hope they can look up their and dream of the potential that they as kids have. that almost anything is within their grasp," Treutel said.
Treutel says baseball gives children a wonderful way of channeling their energy. He's glad he played a part in bringing something positive to the community he calls home.
Safeco officials say this is the second scoreboard of theirs to go up Mississippi. The other is in Brandon.