Sandstone Park names field in honor of Steve Coville
ALBION – Sandstone Park named its field in honor of the late Steve Coville Sr., who volunteered for 40 years, with 22 years as a coach and then as groundskeeper for the park as well as running the concession stand.
Coville passed away at age 76 on Jan. 17. He loved helping the Little League team on East State Street.
The team has only had four head coaches since 1956, when the Albion Midget League formed. Sandstone was one of the original six teams. Sandstone was first coached by Guido Mannella. He did it from 1956 to 1966. He was followed by Leonard Sidari, who led the team from 1967 to 1978. Then Coville took the reins from 1979 to 2001. (He also helped coach in 1978.) Dan Bartlett has been the head coach since 2002.
Leon Sidari’s sons, David and Peter, attended today’s field dedication and praised Coville for his devotion to the team for four decades.
Bartlett, the current coach, said it has taken many volunteers to try to fill the void from Coville’s passing.
“He gave his heart,” Bartlett said. “He worked up here at Sandstone Park for half of his life.”
Coville would mow the expansive lawn and work on the field at Sandstone. He ran the concessions to raise money for the team to buy baseballs and other equipment.
Coville’s wife Annette attended the dedication today, and was joined by the couple’s four children – Steve, Marcus, Gloria Lear and Tina Bauder. Many of Coville’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren also joined in the dedication.
“For my dad it was about the youth,” Gloria Lear said. “He had a bag full of gloves, sneakers and hats. He worked with the parents and would pick kids up if they needed a ride. It definitely a priority in his life.”
When he stepped back from coaching, Coville still felt pride in the team and wanted a nice place for them to play.
“He enjoyed it and wanted the kids to do well,” Lear said.
The family appreciates the recognition at the park.
“It is beautiful,” Lear said about the sign.