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Hesla is a homerun
The trick was to get Chad Hesla early in the morning, unloading produce at the back of Mike’s grocery.
No, I wasn’t there to talk about banana or pineapple prices. The mission was to talk about the sacred game of baseball. That was, until store owner and Webster Mayor Mike Grosek needed Chad’s help preparing pub burgers for Friday’s grill-out or something.
It was in that back warehouse Chad and I discussed American Legion scores, who got how many RBIs, Webster’s new indoor batting cage, the salvaged Metrodome seats local baseball players were selling for fundraising. No baseball-related subject went untouched, and for 40 minutes out of the day the back of Mike’s turned into Jack Buck’s press box.
From what I gather, there’s yet another new baseball feature to discuss. This one truly made me emotional when I found out.
The City of Webster is building a new tee-ball stadium that emulates Target Field in Minneapolis. With the help of the Minnesota Twins Foundation, local businesses and the invaluable efforts put forth by Webster Complex Coordinator Chad Hesla, Webster gets its very own slice of the Big Leagues in its backyard.
The bigger homerun in this story, however, ain’t the wonderful new tee-ball facility. It ain’t Webster’s insatiable love for baseball, either.
Throughout my years as a young print journalist in Webster, I was always thunderstruck by the solidarity of small-town America and how people in places like Webster always rally to get something done.
Thing is, these voracious efforts are punctuated by a person like Chad Hesla, a man who cares about baseball, a man who cares about kids learning baseball and, most importantly, a man who cares about his hometown.
Good eye, buddy.
Ray Erku, Rifle, CO
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