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Riverside Park field dedicated in honor of Derek Lindauer

Lindauer was the head baseball coach at Moline High School for nearly 20 years. He died in January at 58 years old.

MOLINE, Ill. — Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night to officially kick off the Moline Little League season. 

It was also the dedication ceremony of the field honoring long-time Moline High School baseball coach Derek Lindauer.

If the sign near the Moline Little League fields could talk, it would share all the memories from this field.

"I was nine years old when I met him, and I met him through Moline Little League," Andrew Maere said.

Maere made memories with Lindauer and said the former coach was at home on the field.

"Baseball is not only family to him but it was life to him," Maere said.

Jim Zacharewicz played for coach Lindauer in his first season in 1993.

"It's just special to have his name ingrained in everyone who plays baseball in this town," Zacharewicz said.

Lindauer passed away in January 2022, at 58 years old, and suffered from heart complications.

"It'll be an opportunity for the youth of Moline to play on [the] Derek Lindauer field for as long as Moline Little League is around," Zacharewicz said.

Now, field two Riverside Park in Moline is renamed in Lindauer's honor.

"It's gonna be here forever," said Craig Schimmel, the current head baseball coach at Moline High School. "Every kid that steps on this field can say that he had an influence on their life playing on Derek Lindauer Field."

It is a special connection for Lindauer's special place.

"Already thousands of thousands of kids' lives have been touched by him prior to this day and it's great to see that thousands and thousands more will [be] moving forward," Schimmel said.

Derek Lindauer will never be forgotten. Neither will his legacy.

"He's definitely home down here," Maere said.

The Moline Little League season will start on Monday. Games will be played on Derek Lindauer Field every day through the middle of June.

The Moline Little League is working on a permanent plaque that will be installed at the field. League leaders hope to have that hung by the middle of this season.

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