Before there was Allen Pinkett or Billy King, before there was Larry Izzo or Jeff Lageman and before there was Trace McSorley or Jonathan Allen there was Toby Atwell.
On Tuesday, the School Board voted to rename a Leesburg baseball field in honor of Maurice Dailey “Toby” Atwell Jr., Loudoun’s first major league pro athlete.
As a student at Leesburg High School, he played basketball, baseball, and football. After serving three years in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers’ organization in 1948. He played catcher for the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburg Pirates and Milwaukee Braves during a five-year MLB career. He was named to the National League All-Star Team in 1952, although the game was rained out.
After returning home, he remained active in the community, contributing to baseball clinics and volunteer coaching. He died in 2003.
The request to rename the Leesburg Annex baseball field, located along Old Waterford Road next to the former Leesburg High School Building, in Atwell’s memory was made by the Town of Leesburg and other community members.
Under the School Board action, the property will be named Toby Atwell Field for the next 10 years.