GREENFIELD — Sixteen years ago the Indiana Bandits Baseball Club launched in Greenfield by way of a common aspiration of three men. Now, one of those visionaries is recreating that fantasy in the exact same location with the help of his family.
Mike Gibson, one of the co-founders of the Bandits, has teamed up with his wife, Darla, their oldest son, Austin, and family friend Russell Christie to create Dream Big Baseball, Inc.
Dream Big Baseball will take over full operation of the Bandit Yard, located on North Fortville Pike and currently the home of the Bandits, on Aug. 1.
“It was a dream that Austin and I have had for awhile to try and get into a business where we can work in something we truly love (and do it) full-time,” said Mike, the Mt. Vernon head baseball coach for seven seasons ending in 2010. “Baseball has always been our family’s goal.”
Mike, in conjunction with his brother, Harold, and Rusty Low, founded the Bandits in 1996 after the three were unhappy with the quality of the local youth baseball organization. That frustration fashioned itself into the Bandits and the Bandit Yard, a complex of five fields and a 14,000-square-foot indoor facility that hosted 14 teams ages 8 to 18.
The Bandit Yard became available after the Bandits chose to go in a different direction and vacate the premises according to Harold, who left the Bandits’ Board of Directors a year and a half ago. Harold is the purveyor of the property where Bandit Yard rests, but he does not have an ownership stake with his brother’s new Dream Big Baseball operation.
“There was a difference of opinion on the Board now than what it was in the past,” he said. “The Bandits chose to leave. I made every opportunity available to them. The Bandits chose to go in a different direction, that’s for sure.”