Skip to content

Pieces of Lac La Biche's old ball diamond go to Goodfish Lake

Lac La Biche baseball diamonds are "outta here"... and into Goodfish Lake

As quickly as it takes a runner with a big lead-off on one to slide into second, that's how quick the dismantling and removal of the long-serving Lac La Biche Main baseball diamond has been.

In a two-year span that has seen ideas turn to blueprints, blueprints to surveys, surveys to petitions, petitions to plans, plans pleas, please to shorter-plans, shorter-plans to construction bids, and millions spent to convert a huge recreation space in the middle of Lac La Biche County ... it has taken just a few days to strip down what has been a sporting hub of the community for almost a century.

Sections of the fencing around the Main baseball diamond, and the smaller slow-pitch diamond beside it, in the Lac La Biche Recreation Grounds have been removed and are being re-used at the baseball fields in the Goodfish Lake community south of Lac La Biche. Shale from the diamonds' infields is also being removed and hauled to Goodfish. The decision was made to donate the materials just a few weeks ago, at about the same time that former Lac La Biche County Mayor and local baseball enthusiast Omer Moghrabi made one final plea to council to keep the main diamond in place.Moghrabi had also supported an April 2021 petition initiated by the local minor baseball association to keep the ball diamond in the new plans for the McArthur Park area. That petition was created after council approved a five-year plan to convert McArthur Park and the Recreation Grounds into a more leisure-focused area.

The petition was not enough to change the minds of council in 2021, instead seeing a fast-track of the McArthur Park plan, speeding up the timeline to three years from five. Last October, council announced the park would be closed to most activities for the next three years as the ball diamonds were removed and construction on the new-look park space began.

Historic grounds

The baseball diamond has been part of the Recreation Grounds for at lest 90 years, hosting local, provincial, national and North-American baseball games. Moghrabi has called the main diamond Dodger Stadium, referring to the generations of Lac La Biche Dodgers baseball teams that have played on the diamond over the decades.

Moghrabi's last plea to council came in early April, but with the removal of the fencing and the shale at the end of April, the diamond couldn't dodge the plans to move forward with the new McArthur Place model.

The Recreation Grounds were originally home to three ball diamonds. One was removed about a decade ago. With the removal of the final two, municipal officials say the three new diamonds at the Bold Center Sports Fields, as well as two diamonds adjacent to the Aurora Middle School will serve the community's current needs.

Information contained in the original petition to save the diamonds, also offered some the history, disputing some claims that continue to be made by supporters of the new McArthur Park.  Details from that petition can be found in the digital version of a Lakeland This Week article published in April of 2021