The Rome Baseball Association, Inc. project took seed in
the early spring of 1997 and was
precipitated by the simultaneous occurrence of two seemingly unrelated events
deactivation of Griffiss Air Force Base and the need for a quality baseball
facility within the
community of Rome, New York. To date, four first class
baseball fields in a park like setting
have been constructed on a 20-acre track of land located at the entrance to
the Griffiss Business
and Technology Park.
With the support of local businesses, political leaders, volunteers and The
Community Foundation, this totally volunteer group raised the seed funding
necessary to start
construction of the first field. One of the driving forces in this volunteer
group was Larry
DeLutis, a fixture in Rome
baseball. Larry was involved for over 36 years as a player, coach
and owner of the Rome Indians Collegiate Baseball team. Unfortunately, Larry
was never able
to see the field’s completion due to his untimely passing in May 1997. After
his passing, the
RBAI Board of Directors decided to name the field in Larry’s honor.
Construction of Larry DeLutis Field started in the Fall of 1997, on a 20-acre
parcel of land
located on the Griffiss
Business & Technology Park (formerly the Griffiss Air Force
DeLutis Field opened for play on June 28, 1998 with a game between the Rome
team and the Schenectady Mohawks of the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League.
In the spring
of 1999 volunteer crews from the NYS Power Authority, Niagara Mohawk Power
Authority and Rome
Research Corporation worked to install state a start of the art lighting
system on the main
field. On Sunday May 23, 1999, the first night game in Rome in over 50 years was played at
DeLutis field. The game between the Rome
and Rome Catholic High School
teams drew fans of all ages for a great night of baseball and family fun.
In July 2003 our 2nd field opened for play. The field was named Volunteer
Field in honor of
all those who were responsible for its construction.
In June of 2008 the RBAI opened its new 3rd Field to accommodate a
Cal Ripken/Little League size
field which now gives us the ability to sever youth of all ages. This field services both 60ft & 70ft
We named this field Freedom Field.
In the spring of 2013 the RBAI's forth field - Legacy field opened for play. This field is
This field is designed to serve youth ages 13-18.
The RBAI has run a series of youth baseball camp for underprivileged children in
conjunction with the Rome Indians Collegiate Baseball Team.
This program provided children with instruction to develop their athletic skills, as well as,the fundamentals of hard work, competition and teamwork.
The camp was directed by college level coaches and players for children who might not have had a chance to attend such a camp.