Trail City Council has approved in principle to include “Jason Bay Field” at Butler Park, per the request of a local coalition comprised of Trail baseball and sports enthusiasts. The group, spearheaded by longtime Trail baseball coach and high school teacher Luigi (Lou) DeRosa, has expressed the importance of acknowledging the successes of Trail native Jason Bay who successfully played in the MLB (Major League Baseball) and who was recently inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
“On behalf of everyone who helped me with this proposal, I am thrilled that Trail City Council approved it,” said DeRosa. “Once we’ve had the opportunity to meet with City staff, we will be ready to proceed with a budget. We are looking forward to completing the project.”
In addition to recognizing the successful baseball career of Jason Bay, Mr. DeRosa feels it is important to capitalize on the accomplishments of local persons who bring nationwide pride to Trail. “The successes of Andy Bilesky, Willi Kraus, and Joe and Pat Haley have been acknowledged by naming sports fields and facilities in their honour,” said DeRosa. “Adding Jason Bay’s name to the field at Butler Park seems to be a forward thinking decision.”
Lou DeRosa and other representatives from this group will meet with the City’s Museum and Archives Manager and Communications and Events Coordinator to establish a design concept and fundraising campaign for the inclusion of “Jason Bay Field” signage at Butler Park. The City will provide more information about this project and its fundraising campaign as it becomes available.
About Jason Bay
Mr. Jason Bay is a well-known and well-respected career baseball player whose youth years were spent under the coaching of Mr. Andy Bilesky. Mr. Bay was a member of the 1990 Canadian Little League team from Trail, traveling to Williamsport that year. He was also a member of the 1995 Trail Jays team, participating in the Senior Babe Ruth World Series held in Trail. During his final year at university, Mr. Bay was drafted by the Montreal Expos, playing three minor league seasons. In 2003, he advanced to Major League Baseball (MLB) and was awarded Rookie of the Year in 2004 as a member of the Pittsburg Pirates. He is the only Canadian ball player to achieve this status. He retired in 2013. Trail honoured Mr. Bay during the 2005 Home of Champions induction ceremony. Mr. Bay was honoured with induction in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in June 2019.
About the Project
Mr. Lou DeRosa contacted museum staff in June, requesting information on the history and naming of Butler Park. Staff conducted extensive research into the history of the park, identifying a date on which the “Recreational/City Park” became known as “Butler Park.” The name change occurred between July and August 1927. Mr. Sydney Butler was an alderman in the early 1910s, serving as mayor of Trail from 1915 to mid-1917. Mr. DeRosa presented his proposal of including “Jason Bay Field” to Butler Park at a Trail City Council Governance and Operations Committee Meeting on October 15, 2019.