London Sports Hall of Fame welcomes latest inductee: Labatt Park

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Don’t expect a long acceptance speech from the latest inductee into the London Sports Hall of Fame.

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Labatt Park has always expressed itself best through sounds — the crack of a bat, the pop of a catcher’s mitt and the cheers of a crowd.

Yes, the world’s oldest continuous baseball grounds will get the official nod for the local hall Friday at 7 p.m. before Game 1 of the Intercounty Baseball League final between the London Majors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Hall chair Tom Dalby will make the announcement at the site itself — though plaques of the inductees are housed nearby in the Dundas Street concourse of Budweiser Gardens.

COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of the 2020 ceremony and has also curtailed hall of fame activity again this year. To date, 99 individuals and 13 teams have been inducted — and now a ball diamond.

Labatt Park was established in 1877 as Tecumseh Park and is no one-trick pony. It has also served as home to football, soccer, softball, slo-pitch and many community gatherings — most recently, a celebration of London’s Tokyo Olympic heroes.

It has received a lot of honours over the years, but none as unique as this one.

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