Ramsey Field: the man behind its name

Chad Hobbs:

Messenger Staff


 Most people in Meade County know where Ramsey Field is in Brandenburg, whether they have ever had any connection with youth baseball or not. It’s hard to travel down Broadway and not notice the Little League baseball field which has resided there since the 1920s. For some, fond memories abound of the field with many a summer spent playing there either as a player or watching children compete over the decades in America’s pastime. But who is Ramsey and why is this his field?

 To answer this question, we must turn back the time to the 1950s. It was around that time that Egbert Ramsey and his wife Christine moved to Brandenburg from Custer. Egbert was a supervisor at the Olin Mathieson Chemical Plant. The Ramsey’s made the move after a bad snowstorm when Egbert had to travel home to Breckinridge County from Olin and was the first driver through the road.

 With them, the Ramsey’s brought something new to town, soft ice cream. It was a novelty when Egbert and his brother, Karam, opened a Dairy Freeze franchise in 1954. After the franchiser passed away, the Ramsey’s changed the name to Ramsey Brothers’ Freezette and later to the Brandenburg Freezette.

 Egbert and his wife had three children: Michael, Rachel and Joel. Ramsey was very involved in the community, especially the Little League baseball program. Announcements of meetings for the Little League officers and mangers at Ramsey’s home can be found in Meade County Messenger’s from the late 50s and early 60s. He served as the manager of the Red Sox team for several years, eventually becoming Vice President of the league as well.

 In July of 1965, Ramsey began to have health issues and was admitted to Norton’s Infirmary, though the paper isn’t specific on exactly why. On Nov. 17 of that same year, Ramsey passed away at the young age of 40. The following year on June 1, 1966, the Little Leaguers marched through Brandenburg in their annual parade to the ballpark on opening day which was then dedicated “Ramsey Field” by Rev. Sam Clark, who praised the late Mr. Ramsey’s dedication to the youth and the community. He said that it is most fitting to name the field after him, according to an article covering the event.

 The Meade County Board of Education owned the land the park was on along with Central Elementary which is just behind the left field fence from 1929 to 1999. When the board placed the land for sell in 1999, Ray Cottrell purchased the park at the auction. Cottrell attempted to donate the park to the Fiscal Court with the stipulation the land always stayed a baseball field. Federal law, however, prevented a government body from accepting donated land with stipulations applied to it. Wanting to ensure the ballpark continued, Cottrell instead leased the park to the Fiscal Court for 25 years for $1 per year. With the recent announcement of baseball/softball signups beginning, it won’t be long till the 2020 class of Little Leaguers will be taking the field for another season at Brandenburg’s beloved Ramsey Field.

 For those interested in playing baseball at Brandenburg this year, signups have begun and run through Feb. 29. They are done online (baseball only) at meadecounty.sportssignup.com for ages 4-15. Meade Olin girls fast pitch softball will have signups on Feb. 1 & 22 and March 7 at the Food Court from 9 a.m.- noon. Girls slow pitch softball will have signups Feb. 8, 15 and 29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Food Court for ages 4 to 24. For those interested in playing baseball or fast pitch softball at Flaherty Community Park, signups will be held for ages 4 -16 at the Flaherty Firehouse on Feb. 9, 16, 22, and 23 from 1p.m. – 4 p.m.

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