HOLLYWOOD, MN – The ball fields at Hollywood Sports Complex will be named after Ken and Delores Thiesen, creators of the first field with lights at Hollywood, in a dedication ceremony Saturday, June 16.
More than 50 years ago, Ken and Dolores Theisen purchased The Hollywood Store. One of the first projects the Theisen’s thought of doing to increase business was to build a new softball field with lights. The sport of softball had been growing over the years, and the area players were excited about being able to play under the lights.
The Hollywood store had a field that was originally built for baseball in the 1940s, and in later years, became a place for Sunday softball games. Evening games were rarely played because the setting summer sun would shine directly into the batter’s, catcher’s, and umpires’ eyes.
In 1969, it was decided to flip the field, so home plate moved into left field, and lights, dugouts, and a concession stand were added.
Because the field was not a public park, meant that the cost of maintenance needed to be paid by the Theisens, themselves. The investment did pay off as they hosted more than 400 games the first year. The August tournament hosted 16 teams from all over the state. Later on, another field was added in order to get more games in.
The idea initiated by the Theisens led to the owner of Watertown Lanes, Mac McKittrick, moving his bowling lanes to Hollywood. The bowling alley, along with the baseball field, then became Hollywood Sports Complex.
Fifty years later, everyone is welcome to come celebrate with the Theisen family of the late Ken and Delores. The dedication will take place Saturday, June 16 at Hollywood Sports Complex at 4 p.m. There will also be a fastpitch softball tournament being played Saturday and Sunday.
(Article by Bruce Johnson, Herald Journal)