BASEBALL: Big Al Swaim has had huge impact on youth in River Valley

 The city of Van Buren was in dire need of help with the building of the Field of Dreams complex in the 1990s.

When John Riggs was elected mayor in 1995, he turned to Alan Swaim.

Swaim, being the avid baseball fan that he is, knew the value of a good reliever. He had just sold his office supply business, the Paper Clip, and was actually deciding what he might do next.

"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my future," said Swaim. "(Riggs) called me and asked if I would be willing to take over the Field of Dreams. It had run into a brick wall. It was a long way to completion."

Only the original four fields currently at the entrance of the complex had been built.

"People told us at that time that we had the premier facility in the state," Swaim said.

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