MITCH STADIUM FACTS
First Season: 1955
In 2005, a six-foot high wooden fence, which replicates that of the
Original Field in Williamsport and where the first 12 Little League World
Series were played, was installed.
The skin portion of the infield consists of Beam Clay Premium Infield Mix
(74% clay, 14% sand, 12% silt) with a one-inch top-dressing of "Turface Pro
League" calcined clay.
The infield grass, including basepaths from home-to-first and
third-to-home, is Bermuda grass, maintained at a height of 1/2
inch, over a base of gravel and sand for maximum drainage.
The outfield is a level surface covered with lawn fescue, maintained at a
height of 2 inches.
A 10 foot wide warning track surrounds the entire playing field.
Foul territory varies between 22 feet and 24 feet, equidistant on both sides
of the playing field.
The backstop is 20 feet behind home plate and
extends vertically 20 feet. The backstop is padded the bottom 3 feet
with rubber conveyor material. Balls bouncing off the backstop careen
based on the spin of the ball.
Grandstand seating is available along both sides of the playing field
from home plate to each dugout. Total seating capacity of the
grandstand is 500.
The On-Deck Lawn Chair Pavilion is located along the right field line,
directly behind the brick wall and extends to the right field fence.
The Pavilion is available for people using lawn chairs and is handicap
On August 14,
2009, a crowd of 3,214 along with nearly a million more viewers on ESPN watched
the Little League Baseball Southeast Regional Final at Mitch Stadium in Ceredo-Kenova,
WV as the team from Warner Robins – which also won the Tournament of State
Champions on the same field in 2007 – defeated Chantilly, 6-3 to earn a Little
League World Series Birth.
“Ceredo-Kenova and Mitch Stadium have a long
tradition when it comes to Little League,” said Stephen Keener, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, . “We’re grateful to
all the volunteers in the area for stepping up so that the Southeast Regional
Tournaments will have a temporary home in 2009 that rises to the level we expect
from these events.”
Legendary Mitch Stadium has played host to seven previous West
Virginia Little League state tournaments, the 2009 Little League Baseball and
Softball Southeast Regional Tournaments, the 1968 Divisional Tournament under
Little League’s previous tournament format, and is the site of the 9-10 Year-Old
Little League Tournament of State Champions held annually since 2005.
Little League Baseball first came to Ceredo-Kenova
in 1953. For the first two seasons, the league operated on a field located
where the Big Sandy Outlet Store sits today. After the 1954 season, commercial
development and eminent domain forced the league's founding fathers to find a
new playing field.
Floyd Stark, the league's first President, stepped
forward and donated the land between the Ceredo Drive In Theater (now the Ceredo
Shopping Plaza) and the Truax Tracer railroad spur to the league. Stark,
Grey Maynard, Herb Stephens, Ted Smith, Wetzel McCoy, and countless others set
forth to build a new ballpark. Fortunately for the generations that have
followed, these men exercised foresight in constructing a facility that would
outlast the term "venerable".
As construction progressed, Elmer Mitchell arrived
and volunteered his services. For 27 years he never left, making the press
box his home and acting as a friend and surrogate parent to thousands of
youngsters. "Big Mitch", a Kenova police officer, became the unofficial ambassador of Ceredo-Kenova
Little League Baseball, serving as groundskeeper, concession stand operator, and
general sage to all who would listen. In 1975, the C-K community honored
Mitchell for his service, changing the facility's name to "Mitch Stadium".
Big Mitch continued his commitment and dedication to the league until his death
In 1957, Harold "Had" Dale immigrated to Kenova
from Iaeger and brought with him a tireless work ethic and a wonderful
understanding of what a baseball field should be. For decades,
Mitchell and Dale directed the efforts of many to maintain the pristine
condition of Mitch Stadium, setting a standard of excellence seldom seen
outside of South Williamsport, Pa., Little League baseball's International
The Mitch has previously hosted
seven Little League Baseball state tournaments as well as the 1968 Divisional Tournament
under Little League's previous international tournament format. By
2002, the stadium was beginning to show signs of wear. A major
renovation project was undertaken. New stadium lighting was installed,
new batting cages were constructed, brick walls were built along both foul
lines, new spacious dugouts were recessed to major league style, and the
entire infield was resurfaced. Community support for the renovation
project was outstanding and once again Had Dale served as the final word on
all suggested projects. With the installation of video, radio, and
internet capabilities, Mitch Stadium reaffirmed its reputation as one of the
finest youth baseball facilities in the nation.
In 2005, Mitch Stadium was awarded the
inaugural Little League 9-10 Year-Old Tournament of State Champions, providing
an opportunity for 9-10 Year-Olds to play beyond the state level for the first
time. To prepare for the tournament, a six-foot high wooden fence, which
replicates that of the Original Field in Williamsport where the first 12 World
Series were played, was installed.
In 2009, in preparation for the Southern
Regional Baseball and Softball Tournaments, work centered on the new press box and concession facilities.
Mitch Stadium has the capabilities for live radio and TV broadcasts so well as
internet webcasts. With many dedicated volunteers and
community support, The Mitch looks forward to serving the youth of Ceredo and
Kenova for many more years to come.