Storm, winds topple ballpark wall

A section of the outfield wall at David Allen Memorial Ballpark was damaged by the storms that passed through Enid Friday, May 22, 2020. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

Mother Nature must not have gotten the memo about this year's NJCAA Division II World Series being canceled.

As if on cue, on what would have been the day of the opening ceremonies for the 2020 World Series, a major storm swept through Enid leaving its calling card of destruction across town and did not spare a part of David Allen Memorial Ballpark on Friday.

The storm took down a section of the outfield wall and significantly damaged the "Welcome to Enid" sign. However, the scoreboard was spared.

But unlike years past when storms seemed to routinely greet the Series' arrival, there was no disruption of play. David Allen has not seen any games since March when the sports world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, that may soon be changing as Connie Mack baseball appears to be making its way back onto the schedule in early June following a vote by Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association. That vote put the fate of athletics in the hands of local school districts, rather than being subjected to a proposed prolonged reopening multi-phase plan that would have kept sports sidelined until Aug. 1.

Billy Mayberry, who serves as steward of David Allen Memorial Ballpark, said Friday the damaged fence would not prevent games being played this summer or even sooner.

"We could have played tonight if we had to," Mayberry said Friday. He said a temporary fence could be placed where the wooden fence was damaged and, if needed, even a ground rule could have been put in place. "It's not that big of a deal, we'll get that taken care of," he said.

He said the fence that was damaged has been in place since the ballpark opened in 1999.

Like others on Friday, Mayberry was pleased with the actions of the OSSAA board.

"I am ready for any baseball and Connie Mack for sure," he said. "I know Coach Gore has some nice plans for this year."

More should be known as to when baseball will resume when Enid Public Schools Athletic Director Billy Tipps meets with EHS coaches next week to discuss a plan going forward for athletics.

David Allen is affiliated with both Enid High School and Northern Oklahoma College Enid.

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Ruthenberg is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.

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