I was very surprised to read the City of Butler Parks Recreations Grounds and Facilities Authority, with the stroke of a pen, has turned Pullman Park into Kelly Automotive Park.
It was just a few years ago that boxing champ Brian Minto was atop a fight card broadcast from Pullman Park on ESPN2. The program faded in with the announcer's enthusiastic “from historic Pullman Park in Butler, Pennsylvania ...” This conveyed the desired impression that with Pullman Park, Butler had a sports venue with a great tradition behind it.
Indeed, to increase support for the 80-year-old park's renovation, its storied and colorful history was greatly emphasized on Channel 10 and in The Butler Eagle. There's the story of Josh Gibson, often referred to as the Black Babe Ruth, hitting a tape measure home run out of the part that didn't stop rolling until it splashed into the Connoquenessing Creek.
Personally I remember as a young boy my dad and uncle took me along to Pullman for a Butler High football game. They were particularly interested in seeing this kid from Beaver Falls, a quarterback named Joe Namath.
It's just a shame that for a pot of gold, a butler sports landmark synonymous with the name Pullman will henceforth be known officially as Kelly Automotive Park. What a banality.
Why didn't the numskulls who made this deal show some respect for the past and combine the names into Kelly Automotive Pullman Park? Not to be.
Maybe the city council should just be done with it and name the town Kellysville.