As American as apple pie and fireworks, the crack of the bat ringing out across a rural baseball field is a rite of summer. The pungent smell of wet grass and heat of a late-day sun, indelible memories from the field or stands are aplenty. It is nothing less than a crying shame that many of the small-town and country school fields that once dotted our landscape are being lost to the sands of time and changing parental proclivities.

I well remember the Haddam ballpark of my youth. Rooney Park as it is christened was plotted on land donated by the once-powerful Rooney family well over a hundred years ago.