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George L. Strachan IV - The Story George's Field and George's Games

Upper Makefield has a deep love for its youth baseball program. When the league began in 1977, it brought people together who shared a love of baseball and a strong sense of community. And while most never lose those feelings, they may occasionally lose focus on one or both. 

But there is always something or someone who can remind us of those feelings. In Upper Makefield that someone is a forever 12 year-old boy named George Strachan.

Like so many other boys, George couldn't wait for the day he would sign up for the league and compete. But it wasn't really the competition George was excited about, or even the game. It was the time. The time spent with friends, spent with his family, and spent playing the sport that he had a passion for and that would ultimately define his life. 

George played in the Upper Makefield Youth Baseball League for six years. In the fall of 1988, George was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 11. Despite the diagnosis, surgeries and rounds of chemo, the following spring George picked up right where he left off as a member of the Pirates. Recognizing his limitations, George knew his season would be a little different. He couldn't play his trademark shortstop, so instead #30 pitched and played first base. 

As the season progressed the toll of his illness became clear, yet he played the entire season with the same dedication and sportsmanship that were always the hallmark of his game. George just wanted to do what he always wanted to do - play baseball.

George passed away late in the summer of 1989. The following spring, the last field that George played on was rebuilt and named in his honor. Today, it is simply known as George's Field. 

The example George set will never be forgotten. As his father once said, "George has left behind a gift no 12 year-old would ever dream possible. The way he lived his life, competed with honor, and the strength with which he fought his illness inspired a community and set the values that our baseball league strives to instill in all of its young players." 

George's Games        

To remember George, the league initiated a day of light-hearted games. "George's Games" would suspend the traditional winning and losing often associated with baseball and allow families to simply enjoy being together on the field. It is a day that captures the innocence of the sport, and especially those who play it. 

While George was recognized for his baseball talent, he was also recognized for his sportsmanship and respect for the game. He took great pleasure in challenging himself on the diamond, while always remembering baseball was a team sport. Those who knew him hope that all who play on George's Field will honor his memory by competing with the same dedication and spirit for which George is remembered and loved.

 

Stan Arabis Field Dedicated, Honors his Pioneer Role to Preserve Upper Makefield "Open Space"

Upper Makefield Township held dedication ceremonies for its only Lookout Field 90-foot base path baseball field on Saturday, May 16, 2009.

The field, formerly known as Patriots Field, was renamed the Stan Arabis Field to honor the longtime Washington Crossing resident who passed away in 2008 at the age of 63.

Arabis was the first chairman of the township's Environmental Advisory Council and a planning commission member after retiring as chief counsel for the Sunoco Oil Co. in Radnor after more than 20 years. He was a volunteer coach for Upper Makefield baseball and helped maintain the fields.

Many members of Arabis' family, along with several township officials, including Supervisors Dave Kulig, Conrad Baldwin and Robert West, attended the ceremony.

Kulig credited Arabis for helping to "forge the township's open space program in the late 1990s."

"We dearly miss him as our community continues to enjoy many of the fruits of his labors," Kulig said. "And, after today, the name of this field will serve to help us remember him and the good he has done for all of us."

Reported by the Bucks County Courier-Times

 


 
 
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