Take me out to the ball game: Concession stand at Cannon Park in China Grove to be named after Dale and Gale Kieger

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 18, 2023

CHINA GROVE — For over 40 years, Dale and Gale Kieger have been staples of youth sports in China Grove, helping out wherever they were needed, whether it was supplying sporting equipment, helping with maintenance, or assisting in the concession stands at the China Grove Ball Field in Cannon Park.

To honor the Kiegers for their decades of volunteer work, the town of China Grove and the China Grove Service Club will name the concession stand after the couple with a dedication ceremony Tuesday, May 23, at 5:45 p.m. A sign with the couple’s name will be unveiled during the dedication ceremony.

“My parents were just stunned and quite honored and a lot of emotions went through them as you can imagine,” said Kevin Kieger, the son of Dale and Gale. “My father spent a lot of years at the ball field and my mom also spent a lot of nights and years up there as well.”

Dale, 92, and Gale, 88, started Dale’s Sporting Goods in China Grove in 1954, originally named the Young Men’s Shop and then changing to the current name in the 1970s. Dale has previously served on China Grove’s Youth Sports Board, which offers baseball, softball and t-ball opportunities to kids between the ages of 4 and 12.

Ron Overcash, the president of the China Grove Service Club, said they wanted to honor the Kiegers because of their “many, many years of helping out at the ball park.” He also mentioned that Dale always helped out in the concession stands during games, even when he was getting older and it wasn’t easy for him to get around as it used to be.

“They have been very, very supportive (of youth sports) and have helped us make a lot of decisions that has turned our program into what it is today,” Overcash said.