Father John Sheehan was born in Butte in 1908. Raised in Butte, he attended St. Mary's church and school. He became an ordained Catholic priest in June of 1932, returning to his home parish to say his first mass in May of 1933. Father Sheehan served as a chaplain in World War Two and was honorably discharged with the rank of major in 1945. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Bronze Star Cluster, and the Purple Heart. Father Sheehan returned to Butte after the war but died in 1946 from war-related injuries.
A park was established in 1951 by the Silver Bow Recreation Association to facilitate a trial run of the Little League Baseball program in the area. The next year the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) of Butte took over the operations of the park. The baseball program was widely received and in April of 1952, the park was named in honor of Father Sheehan who was instrumental in the CYO. Fifty-two years later, on the anniversary of Sheehan’s death, on September 13, 1998, a permanent memorial was placed at the park.
The park became the first sodded field for the children of Butte to play on. In 1962, the Babe Ruth League baseball field was dedicated to the memory of Hiawatha Brown, one of Butte’s all-time athletic greats.