Johnson, Don Wesley

Player Name
Johnson, Don Wesley
Recreational Sports
1971 – 1990
It all began in 1976 on Don Johnson’s 20 acre farm field located along the south side of Beaverdams Road, west of Kalar Road. It is here that Mr. Johnson, with the help of a number of volunteers, built his “Field of Dreams.” In his love for baseball and recognizing a need for a place for men over 40 years of age to play ball, a baseball diamond was constructed. The first pitch was thrown out in 1977. The original league consisted of 4 teams. After a few years there were concerns raised regarding liability insurance and Mr. Johnson met with Bob Sones of the City’s Parks & Recreation Department in 1982 to investigate the cost. Bob Sones suggested the relocation of the diamond to the former Memorial School grounds owned by the City. It was later in 1982 that City crews removed the back stop, bleachers, storage shed from the Johnson property and relocated the diamond to the former school grounds off Spring Street that was named A.C. McCallum Park. The park was developed with two diamonds with the help of financial donations and work of volunteers. Over the years there has been improvements made to the park with perimeter berms, tree planting and installation of boundary fencing, benches and washroom facility. The improvements were carried through donations by Mr. Johnson and Molsons Canada through their Local Heroes Program.
In 1992, the City renamed the park from A.C. McCallum Park to Don W. Johnson Park to honour the work of Mr. Johnson. The league currently operates during the summer with 8 teams. The rules are unique to the Johnson Over 40 League in that there are 5 outfielders, no score is kept, there are replacement runners that can sub for players on the bases and a soft core ball is used to minimize the long ball. Mr. Johnson currently resides at 5720 Temperance Avenue which abuts and overlooks the park. He keeps a watchful eye on the park. The Johnson Over 40 slo-pitch league continues to be strong to this day. Mr. Johnson was a pioneer by developing the old timers league before they were common. His dedication and hard work in helping the diamonds and providing an opportunity for older ball players to continue to play the game with little cost to the City, makes a true builder and worthy of recognition ; Inducted January 21, 2007
Niagara Falls Virtual Sports Wall of Fame
Portraits - Biographical
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