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ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Some residents are crying foul over a proposed museum for women’s baseball in an Illinois city that had one of the sport’s most successful teams in the 1940s.
A zoning board in Rockford postponed a decision Tuesday on a permit for the project at Beyer Park, the Rockford Register Star reported.
The Rockford Park District is willing to sell an acre of the park to the International Women’s Baseball Center.
A group called Friends of Beyer Stadium supports the concept. But it says it has acquired land directly west of Beyer Park.
“Shame on you,” said Greg Schwanke, president of Friends of Beyer Stadium. “I spent 14 years out there building this place and turned it into a national attraction for the city of Rockford. We’re not going down. We’re fighting all of the way.”
The Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League played at Beyer Stadium. The team was featured in the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own,” with Tom Hanks, Madonna and Geena Davis.
The International Women’s Baseball Center is launching a $10 million fundraising campaign for construction of a museum and activity center.
“We’ve had people already calling us from outside the area asking us when the museum is going to open,” said Rosemary Collins, a retired judge involved with the group. “People are interested in this. They will travel here to see it. It will have an economic boon for the entire area.”