A ball field at Green Sports Complex has been named in honor of Bruce Pinkall, Pratt recreation director, for his 30 years of service to the department and to the community.
A tear came to Bruce Pinkall's eyes as the tarp was removed from the scoreboard at the Green Sports Complex revealing the new name for the ball diamond, Pinkall Field.
Pinkall has been recreation director for the City of Pratt for 30 years and the field in the northwest corner of the complex was named after him in a ceremony Aug. 30 for his years of service to the recreation department, the residents of Pratt and the many visitors that use Pratt recreation facilities. Pinkall became recreation director in January 1988 and will reach his 30 years in 2018. Pinkall took the position when the recreation program became its own department in the city.
Pratt City Manager Roy Eckert, Pratt Mayor Lucus Kumberg, City Commissioners Kumberg, Doug Meyer, Bill Hlavachick, Gary Schmidt and Don Peters, plus members of the recreation staff, Pinkall's wife Rita and Pinkall's parents Bob and Karen Pinkall, were all present at the ceremony.
Pinkall said he was very humbled for the honor and had never thought about having his name on the scoreboard. He is very proud of everything that has been done at Green Sports Complex and is looking forward to bigger and better things.
Pinkall thanked a long list of people for all their help in getting the Complex to where it is today and especially thanked the Green family for donating the property.
"Everybody has to accept some of the credit," Pinkall said.
Mayor Kumberg said the city values all of their employees and they like to recognize their contributions any way they can. Pinkall is responsible for much of the recreation program the city has today, Kumberg said.
Roy Eckert, city manager, said the city had been searching for a way to honor Pinkall and naming a field in his honor seemed like the appropriate thing to do.
"He's the type of employee that let's the manager sleep at night," Eckert said. "He gives more than is expected of him. It's phenomenal."
Pinkall said the Green Sports Complex was opened in 2004 and was funded through a quarter cent sales tax. When the vote passed lots of people lined up with ideas for the facilities. It is located just west of the intersection of East 6th Street and Fincham Street on the east side of Pratt.
Green Sports Complex was kind of like the phrase from the movie Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come." And lots of people have been coming for games and tournaments. They have been staying in hotels, eating at local restaurants, shopping in stores and buying gas, Pinkall said.
The complex plays host to lots of teams and tournaments during the summer. Everybody works to keep the facility in shape. George Brown is full time maintenance and is out there every day. But everybody that takes care of the facility is needed to make it work, Pinkall said.
There have been a lot of ups and downs through the years at the complex but mostly things have been on the up side and Pinkall hopes the future of Green Sports Complex continues going up.