Out with the old: Baseball players reminisce as old Corner Brook clubhouse demolished

It's been a gathering place for baseball players for generations, but the old clubhouse at Jubilee Field in Corner Brook came tumbling down in a matter of hours Monday morning.

The clubhouse, thought to have been built in the 1940s, was demolished to make way for a new $1.8-million structure.

The new facility will be better in just about every way, but ball players such as Rob Myrden, 61, still felt nostalgic Monday morning as excavators tore through the roof of the old building.

"When I look at the building, I could look at every door and every opening in the building and see myself doing something over the years," said Myrden.

"It was just a great place to be."

Looking back

Myrden said he figures he's been through the doors of the old clubhouse tens of thousands of times since first coming here to play baseball as a nine-year-old in the 1960s.

His first memories are of going to the canteen, the window for which is now somewhere amid a pile of rubble.

"I can remember having my quarter in hand and having to reach up and lay it on the canteen so I could get my 25 cents' worth of bubblegum," Myrden recalled.

Bernice Hillier/CBC

Later, as a member of the Aces and Barons baseball teams, Myrden said the old building was a place of good times.

"All of our Aces gatherings. After every game, we would laugh — win, lose or draw. That dressing room saw a whole lot of laughs," said Myrden.

Time for something new

After playing from the clubhouse himself for more than 50 years, Myrden said he knows the building has outlived its usefulness.

The exterior of the building was dilapidated, with rotting wood and crumbling concrete, but the clubhouse really showed its age on the inside, as its showers haven't worked in decades, and one baseball association official previously described the washrooms as "downright creepy."

Jennifer Grudic/CBC

Myrden said he's happy to know a new facility will replace the old clubhouse at last. It will include a new canteen, dressing rooms, a space for umpires and officials, and a larger multipurpose room.

The money for the new building will come from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Myrden was glad to be on site to see for himself the old clubhouse coming down.

"I just wanted to be here when the first excavator blade hit the building," he said.

Construction of the new clubhouse at Jubilee Field is expected to start in the coming weeks. The Corner Brook Baseball Association hopes the contractor will have it closed in before winter, so work can continue and be completed in time for next year's baseball season.

Bernice Hillier/CBC

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