Highland County Ball Field to Be Dedicated to Ed Crigler – Part 1


“It’s been a subject too long that we haven’t dedicated the ball field to someone who truly and dearly deserves it, Ed Crigler.”  That is Ellen Ratcliffe, representative of the Highland County Recreation Commission, and it won’t be much longer until that ball field next to Highland Public Schools in Monterey does indeed have a new name.  On Monday, June 5th, the Ed Crigler Ball Field Dedication Ceremony will take place at 2:30 pm.

According to residents, Ed Crigler, now 85, was an influential, if not the most influential, force in the creation of the ball field from start to finish.  He was a player and coach, and made an impact on the community through many sports in the local area, including softball, baseball, and basketball.

Ms. Ratcliffe tells us more about Mr. Crigler and the upcoming event.   She says, “Ed came from Franklin as a linesman for the Monongahela Power Company, and the family grew up here and were part of the community, part of the county, very dedicated to this recreation program, so we’re really happy to have this ball field dedicated to him.  We’re going to have the band to play.  We’re going to have the ball teams dressed in their uniforms.  We’re going to have some speakers and people who are going to tell a few more stories, and we’re just going to have a great day, and best of all, Ed’s going to be there with us.”

Ellen Ratcliffe isn’t the only one who speaks highly of Ed Crigler.  “Ed did so much for sports in the county.  We didn’t have any until he come.”  That is Carlton Hull, who calls Mr. Crigler one of his closest friends.  He has some stories to share as just a small preview of what may be heard at the dedication ceremony.

Mr. Hull continues by saying, “Ed come and he was sports-minded.  He said, ‘We’ve got to have a ball field around here.’  So, we went to H.C. Lunsford, who was superintendent of the schools at that time.  The ball field over here was a mess, so we brought a tractor in.  We had to plow it, and next we had to go down and get the ball field fixed up, so we hauled sand in, brought a whole truckload of sand in, brought it in there, and all the people of Highland County come in and jumped in with rakes.  We raked rocks out of the ball field.  These people in this county, they were really good volunteers.  You asked them to do something, they done it.  And we had to build bleachers on the side.  Well, we had to have a leader.  Here was Ed Crigler who said, ‘Oh, we can do that.  We can build them.’  So we put up a fence and built some bleachers out there for people to sit, and it wasn’t long ‘til they wasn’t enough for the people.  We had to build some more, and we had to have a dugout, so, Ed, well, Ed said, ‘We’ll get her done.’  So, he got the dugout built, and Ed said, ‘We need some lights over there!’  And I said, ‘How are we going to furnish lights?’  And he said, ‘Well… we’ll get them lights done.’  So Ed was an electrician.  We had to climb poles, and I helped him, and we got the lights up.  We started having tournaments.  We had a concession stand over there to help pay for the food.  Finally, we had to have facilities for a toilet.  Ed said, ‘Oh, I’ll get one built.’  So, it was built!  And he was a kind of a guy, didn’t say much, but when he said, ‘I’ll get her done,’ he got her done.”

We’ll hear more of Carlton Hull’s tales about Ed Crigler in part two of this story.


Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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