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Pueblo should be proud of Runyon

BY AUSTIN WHITE | The Pueblo Chieftain | JUL 29, 2018

To be honest,I had never heard of the Runyon Sports Complex. Being a kid from Wheat Ridge and moving up north for college, I never really experienced much with anything related to Pueblo athletics.

After doing the Runyon series for the past month and a half, I can say one thing: Never have I seen a place and a community so dedicated to a sport and helping the young players grow into the game.

Every conversation I had about the fields somehow connected to helping out the kids. Whether it was Max Salas coaching every player, boy or girl, he could or Sam Corsentino helping on the board and coming to watch the kids play at the field that now displays his name, everything connected to the youngsters.

Even Jim DiIorio was out coaching until he tragically passed away on the field. Ray Pusedu sponsors an 8-and-under tournament where the winners get rings and a couple of players walk away with a new bat or glove. I would have loved to have those kind of experiences growing up in the game.

There definitely is something special for all of the high school athletes here in Pueblo, not just baseball and softball. I have learned through this series how great of preps sports town this truly is.

Every person I have met along the way has gone the same way in our conversations. The Puebloan asks where I am from and what high school I went to. I say Wheat Ridge. Then the person usually goes on to tell me some story about Dave Logan and I nod my head like I know his entire history.

But that is what is unique here. I am learning things about someone from my high school who I never knew and these people telling me this live 100 miles away from where Logan went to high school.

The passion here is immeasurable and makes me very excited to start covering preps for the first time in my professional career as a sports writer. I could not ask for a better following and I hope to give Pueblo the best content I can bring because the readers deserve it.

Through this six-week adventure, I learned about the history of the Runyon Complex and why these fields mean so much. Names like Damon Runyon, Oneal Hobbs and Tony Andenucio all represented the game so passionately here in Pueblo.

Everyone who has grown up here carries on those guys legacy and ultimately it is not even about baseball or softball. Runyon represents community for the people of Pueblo and I have not experienced a place that rallies around a sport quite like this.