Former Baseball Player Campaigns for New Clubhouse

Jonathan Williams, Sports Editor

Stengel field needs saving. That’s what Bryan Longpre and his nonprofit foundation set out to accomplish across the street from the Glendale College campus.

Signs read, “,” in bold green letters and are speckled across the La Crescenta Valley and the Glendale area. The goal of Longpre’s foundation is to raise awareness of the situation at the nearly 65-year-old ballpark.

Longpre, a former Crescenta Valley Falcon baseball player and a one-time major league prospect, has fronted nearly $5,000 out of his own pocket to see his mission carried out.

“The stadium is what made Stengel [Field],” said Longpre. “Our field is named after one of the most prominent baseball figures of all time.”

Casey Stengel was a former New York Yankees player and coach. Stengel and his family were residents of Glendale and you can still find some of them in the community today.

Since 1949, the field has seen countless rainstorms that battered the old wooden benches. Over the last few years the benches have fallen victim to water damage and became unfit for fans to enjoy the games. The clubhouse, beneath the bleachers, which housed many athletes and coaches in preparation for games, is locked and now infested with mildew and mold.

“I’m embarrassed when I see players running from the field to the bathroom or changing out of their clothes in the parking lot,” Longpre said.

This summer, the old clubhouse will be gone and only a grandstand will be built. The community will have to raise the funds itself if wants to build proper accommodations for the teams. Longpre met with local community members from La Crescenta and Glendale to set up a fundraiser for today.

“I’ve spent some time at Stengel,” said Longpre. “My uncles have played there. My whole family has been there to watch me play. I think we deserve a better stadium.”

Longpre said that other surrounding schools have much better facilities and resources.

“Notre Dame High School [in Sherman Oaks] has a new $3 million stadium without half the history,” Longpre said.

Notre Dame had a brand new baseball field constructed that t opened last month. The stadium holds 350 fans, with concession stands and a clubhouse for home and visiting teams. Donors contributed nearly $700,000, bringing the structure from the groundbreaking to grand opening.

Longpre said that he has the support of Glendale Mayor Dave Weaver, but has not reached out to any of the remaining Stengel family members.

“Ripping down the Stengel clubhouse is like ripping our hearts out,” said Falcons’ Head Coach Phil Torres as he pulled out two old locker nameplates. “My son is one of the last ones to have a locker at Stengel.”