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Plaque to highlight quarry, baseball history of Albion’s Sandstone Park

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – A project is now underway to highlight the history of Albion’s Sandstone Park baseball diamond with the erection of a plaque.

Sandstone Park is a special part of the neighborhood and of the Albion Midget League and it has been for decades.

Like its neighbor just to the north across the Erie Canal the St. Mary’s Club field, the Sandstone Park diamond dates back to the formation of the Albion Midget League in 1956 making the two diamonds the oldest youth fields in the community.

It’s a neighborhood park, which gets its “Sandstone” name from the Medina sandstone quarry which once operated on the site.

And plans are now well underway to chronicle the quarry history of the site and of the baseball teams which have played on its diamond over the past six decades with the placing of a plaque on a block of sandstone near the backstop.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – A view of the Sandstone diamond from right field.

“The kids I coach now many of their parents also played ball at Sandstone as did some of their grandparents,” said current Sandstone team Coach and Sandstone player alum Dan Bartlett in commenting on the importance of the park to the neighborhood.

“As kids we played ball there all the time. That’s all we did,” said Bartlett who is just Sandstone’s fourth coach in the 59 year history of the team.

“It’s a unique situation. It was a neighborhood thing playing there,” said former Albion High coach and Sandstone team alum Gary Mannella, whose father, Guido Mannella, was the Sandstone team’s first coach.

“I guess that’s where I got my baseball DNA from,” said Mannella of his early days playing at Sandstone.

In fact, a sign on the backstop honors the team’s four coaches, a list of mentors which also include Leonard Sidari and Steve Coville.

No date has been set yet for the placing of the plaque.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – In addition to a baseball shaped sign with the Sandstone Park logo, a sign on the backstop also recognizes the only four coaches the Sandstone team has ever had and the years they served – Guido Mannella, Leonard Sidari, Steve Coville and Dan Bartlett.