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Old Sullivan Field scoreboard finds new home at Grand Rapids brewery

The Mitten Brewing Company plans to mount it on the wall and refurbish it, working lights and all.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A sports landmark on the west side of Grand Rapids has a new home after longtime fans of the venue fought to keep it out of the junkyard.

Paul Soltysiak, one of those fans, knows Sullivan Field.

"I grew up across the street," he recalls.

The stadium, known as Valley Field when it opened in 1937, hosted future major league legends like Satchel Paige throughout the years.

But Soltysiak, vice president of Friends of Valley Field, played football and even hockey on the grounds as well.

"It was a year round playground," he says. "And this is where everybody from the community gathered and friendships were made."

And over the last 20 years, an old scoreboard watched over each activity. With upgrades abound at the park, and a brand new board donated by Meijer earlier in 2022 it soon became obsolete.

"It was kind of laying here for a while and we thought, well, it'd make kind of a cool backdrop somewhere," says Soltysiak.

The Mitten Brewing Company thought so too.

The owners happened to see the scoreboard at a whiffle ball tournament at Sullivan Field, and they asked to scoop it up.

"They call it The Outfield at The Mitten," says Soltysiak.

Soon, the brewery plans to mount it on the wall and refurbish it, working lights and all. While the board is technically on loan to The Mitten, Soltysiak thinks its in the perfect home.

"I think that as long as they're flourishing, and everything's cool over there, I can see it staying there," he says.

The Mitten says it's working with the city's historic commission to get the scoreboard back to working order.

They say they'll update progress of the restoration on their Facebook page.

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