On the banks of the Mississippi River, sits a ballpark formerly known as John O'Donnell Stadium.
It served as home to a Class A affiliated outfit for several major league teams, including the Chicago Cubs and California Angels.
As a baseball fan growing up in west central Illinois, I was a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. But at the same time, that didn't prevent me from keeping tabs on how the local minor league team fared on a daily basis.
The competing local newspapers - one from Davenport, Iowa, and the other from Moline/Rock Island, Ill. - treated the franchise with special care while giving it complete game coverage and showcasing various players.
Eventually, I was one of those scribes working as a part-time sports writer for the Daily Dispatch. Even though it was one of the lowest levels for a professional baseball player, I couldn't help but appreciate the fact that here was an individual working his tail off hoping to someday realize his dream of playing in "The Show."
Fast forward to present day, and now it's Parkersburg's turn to possibly have that experience.
At the Blennerhassett Hotel on Tuesday night, Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee, along with his deputy commissioner Steve Tahlser and former major leaguer and Ohio Valley Redcoats manager Steve Swisher, discussed with city officials and business leaders about bringing a franchise to the Mid-Ohio Valley in time for the 2014 season.
Since establishing roots in the area eight years ago, I can definitely say baseball is a valued commodity in the valley.
There is passion whether you are a Pittsburgh Pirates fan like retired Fort Frye athletic director Dennis Bahen, or a Cincinnati Reds fan such as Williamstown public address announcer Matt Minton. Can't forget the Cleveland Indians. I know Marietta Times copy editor Jim Bartholow won't.
Attend a Pittsburgh Pirates or a Cincinnati Reds caravan at Grand Central Mall in January and you get the picture.
If they are like me, baseball is baseball and they would welcome the idea of an Independent baseball team to Parkersburg. Fill the summertime by filling the seats at a facility projected for Fort Boreman.
Imagine a stadium similar to what travelers heading east on I-70 see to their right as they enter Washington, Pa., where CONSOL Energy Park is home to the Washington Wild Things.
Several Frontier League franchises exist in metropolitan areas such as St. Louis and Chicago, but Mr. Lee isn't concerned with market size. Becoming a 16th member of the league would factor in the entire Mid-Ohio Valley region. Not just Parkersburg. Not just the West Virginia side of the Ohio River.
"Our team in Southern Illinois is in a town called Marion, Ill., with a population 16,000, and they have been our top drawing team ever since they came into existence in 2007 drawing over 4,000 a night," Lee said.
According to Lee, a great facility, a great front office and very strong ownership can make the difference.
Something to keep in mind as the calendar approaches 2014.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org