Baseball is as American as hot dogs and apple pie. The Shippensburg Community recently celebrated Memorial Day this year unlike any Memorial Day before. There was no parades, community gatherings, or baseball games due to the covid-19 virus. As we approached July 4th, Independence Day, the Shippensburg community hopes everything would be back to normal. We hoped to be able to celebrate with pool parties, picnics, fireworks, and baseball games.
The Shippensburg Area Athletic Association doesn’t want to lose the true meanings of these American holidays. The sacrifices members of our community made to guarantee our freedoms. We would like to say Thank You to the veterans of our community and also give a salute to the ones that play baseball for the Athletic Association.
The Shippensburg Indians, a 28 and over adult baseball team, currently has three military members on their team. Jason Henninger, a member of the Army Nation Guard, plays outfield and designated hitter. Travis DeShong, represents the Air Force Reserve, plays second base and pitches. Brad “Omar” Gardner, retired Army Reserve, plays outfield and pitches for the Shippensburg Indians. We our honored and it’s a privilege to have them on our team.
Over the last couple years the Shippensburg Area Athletic Association has lost some of our biggest supporters. All three served our country in the military with pride. John Sheaffer, served in the military during WWII and was the president of the SAAA for 30 years. Tom Ginnick served in the United States Air Force and was the president and treasure for the Association. Coach Bill “Spider” Corman served during WWII and coached the Shippensburg Stars for many years. We appreciate all of our servicemen that have laced up their cleats for our organization. The SAAA would like to thank you for your service to our country and to the SAAA. You will never be forgotten!
“Playing the game I love in a stadium that recognizes the sacrifices that service members make is something that is hard to put into words.”
Army National Guard
Our history of having veterans and active military personnel within the organization only makes sense that we would play our games at Veterans Stadium, Shippensburg Memorial Park. Veterans Stadium was built as a permanent monument for the veterans of Shippensburg. The Shippensburg Area Athletic Association has funded an adult baseball team playing at Veterans Stadium since the 1980s, except for from 2010 to 2014. We currently have a lease agreement with the Shippensburg Community Park and Recreation Authority for Veterans Stadium at Shippensburg Memorial Park for the Shippensburg Stars, Indian and American Legion baseball teams to use the facility for the next 17 years.
Members of the military on our teams, visiting teams, and fans love coming to a field that was built as a monument for veterans. Jason Henninger says it best; “I did not grow up in this town but being able to play in a stadium memorializing all veterans is extra special for me. Playing the game I love in a stadium that recognizes the sacrifices that service members make is something that is hard to put into words. I am proud to lace up my cleats and step onto that sacred dirt and hope to continue to do so for many years to come.”
The Shippensburg Area Athletic Association is very proud to support our veterans and our community!