Complex to honor Merrill (Pinky) May, son Milton
Over the last few months, the South Harrison Park advisory board and the South Harrison Community Development Corp. have been working together to bring more people to South Harrison Park.
Both sides, board members say, have much to contribute and they want to see the park grow. The SHCDC has decided that this year’s Spirit Days, July 3 and 4, will be held at the park.
There is more space and more parking to accommodate the community that attends this festival, according to organizers.
SHPAB will have a dedication ceremony July 4 at 11:30 a.m. to name the baseball complex of the park May Field after a father and son from Laconia who played major league baseball.
Merrill (Pinky) May was born in Laconia and graduated in 1928 from the old Laconia High School. He attended Indiana University, where he played baseball. In 1932, he signed with the New York Yankee farm system and played minor league baseball for seven years.
In 1939, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies as a third baseman. He played in the majors until 1943 when he was drafted into the Navy during World War II. After completing his tour, he returned to the Phillies but was soon released.
May went on to have a 40-year managing career in the minor leagues. He moved his family to Florida in 1959. After retiring from the minor leagues, he moved back to Indiana, taking up residence in Corydon. He died in 2000.
In 2003, May was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in Jasper.
His son, Milton, was born in Gary but lived in Laconia on the family farm. He went to Laconia Elementary School until the fourth-grade.
The younger May signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates right out of high school. He went on to play for the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and the San Francisco Giants.
In 1971, during his first World Series, he drove in the winning run of Game 4. In 1975, Milt hit a three-run homer, sending his teammate Bob Watson across home plate scoring the one millionth run in MLB history.
After playing baseball for 15 years, Milt retired and spent another 15 years as a coach for various teams. He now lives in Florida with his family.
Milt May will be the grand marshal of the Spirit Days parade on July 3 at 7 p.m. and also will attend the dedication ceremony.
The parade will signal the start of Spirit Days, and a dinner at the Community Center will follow.
On July 4, the SHPAB will serve breakfast, beginning at 7, that includes sausage biscuits and biscuits and gravy. During the day, there will be children’s games, snack booths, cornhole tournaments, a baby-queen prince and princess contest, an auction, 3-on-3 basketball contest, music by Dorton’s Band and the Ferrens and, to conclude the event, a teen dance. Lunch and dinner will also be served.
The South Harrison Athletics Corp. will hold its first Babe Ruth District Tournaments for 8-under boys. The first game will begin at 9 a.m.
For information about SHAC, contact Troy Lewis at 969-3724. For more information about Spirit Days, contact Jason Logsdon at 969-2363.
Entrance to the park will be free for Spirit Days.