Town memorial honors founder of local Little League program

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PENDLETON — The Pendleton Park Department completed the installation of the plaque honoring Raymond Hoppes, the man who initiated the Little League baseball program in Pendleton in 1953.

The plaque was mounted on a large rock, one of many unearthed when the sports complex was built.

The stone was placed in the location of the home plate on the original diamond, on the land north of Falls Park Drive west of the railroad tracks.

Ray’s son, Ken, remembered his father’s devotion to the community, saying it was all about citizenship for his father. As noted on the plaque, the league was organized in 1953 with the first games played in 1954. Pendleton High School played its games on the field.

What many local residents remember as the red diamond, where girls played softball for many years, was removed this year, completing the final transition of all ball activities to the sports complex, which has been developed in a larger area east of the rail line. This transition has opened up a greenspace area for the park to offer for use by the community.