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Pulaski baseball has moved through nicknames, eras and major league organizations. The Pulaski Counts, beginning in 1942. The Phillies, Cubs, Phillies again, Braves, Rangers, Blue Jays and Mariners have come and gone. The Braves stayed the longest, running multiple future major leaguers through a park which is in such a neighborhood setting, it’s accessible by a walking path.

A sign hanging in left-center field thanks fans for the 25 years Carpenter and his fellow owners, Pulaski Baseball Inc. President Tom Compton and Vice President Rick Mansell, operated the team.

On a Monday night with the season winding down, it’s noted over the public address system that the groundskeeper is celebrating his 39th anniversary at the park. Most of the 721 in attendance clap.

A sidewalk sale is going on during the first three innings. The scoreboard shows the time and temperature alternating in red light at the top. Pulaski leads early before losing, 6-5. Baseball in town will be in limbo a week later.


The Pulaski Town Council meeting is filled Tuesday. Hagan, who made his money selling cars in nearby Christiansburg, is interested in buying the park from the town for $100,000. He’s been pushing to do so since his group purchased operational control of the team. Hagan has promised development and improvement of the park, namely new clubhouses down the left-field line.

If he’s going to invest in the park, he wants to own it. The town has always leased the park to the operators. When the council first started talking about the deal with Hagan, they had a hard time locating the deed for the property.

Hagan finally has an answer from the Mariners: They are not returning. He says he’s been talking to other teams. The departure of the Mariners appears to leverage his point that the park needs improvements or teams will continue to leave. In this case, the Mariners did not choose another town over Pulaski. They will not field a rookie level team next season. The council decides to proceed with the park sale to Hagan.

“The Town of Pulaski simply does not have the means to support the ballfield in ways that will be conducive to the ballfield,” Vice Mayor Greg East said, according to the Southwest Times. “This is much bigger than Calfee Park. This is the future — in my mind — of the Town of Pulaski.”

Hagan wants to put money into the facility and the area. The Volvo plant up the road has been hiring more. Korona Candles recently moved a factory into the county. James Hardie, which makes fiber cement siding and backerboard, expanded its staff this year. Dollars are trickling in, if not flowing.

“One of the first things you have to understand is the town understands the condition they’re in,” Carpenter said. “They are looking at every opportunity they can to bring jobs here.”

They are again grasping at baseball. Without the Mariners, without the upgrades Hagan is pledging, another team is unlikely for at least next year. Calfee Park will sit without the proverbial crack of the bat over the music during batting practice. The trees flanking the field, home to so many foul balls, will shuffle in the breeze, alone.