It doesn’t seem like time for baseball and softball to start, but it is. When fall league is over, it is already time to start getting the fields ready for spring (or in our case, winter games). It doesn’t give the park board long to get things done.
This year there was even more to do than usual. Repairs and maintenance are an ongoing thing, but this year the park board added two major projects. One was to put down a new surface on all of the infields made of crushed brick. This is very expensive compared to red dirt used in the past, but will reduce the amount of rained-out games. This has always been a problem with as may teams as we have, all trying to reschedule and play regular games. The town council voted to approve the funds for the new surface.
The park board, along with work day volunteers, would put the new surface in place. The park work day was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, which turned out to be one of the coldest, windiest days of the year.
I thought no one would show up to work. When I got to the park, much to my surprise, there was some fifty volunteers who showed up to get the park ready for the first games. They worked on concession stands, fences, stairs, and all the things that needed attention. And even with snow coming down, they got the new infield surfaces down. Many of them had no kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews playing this year. They just wanted to help. Some stayed until almost dark.
If this wasn’t enough, those volunteers came back the next Saturday and built two new dugouts for the second major project; a new softball field. Lights went up at the field last week. The council and park board had been working on getting a new field since the beginning of softball last season. Softball has just gotten too big for one field. The softball teams, businesses, and individuals paid for the lights. Money for the fence, poles, and electrical work was paid by the town.
The work for all of this was done by town employees in addition to their regular jobs, volunteer coaches, parents, players, the park board, and so many others that just wanted to help. It has been amazing to see how much has been accomplished.
To the park board and to all those who made this possible, I want to say on behalf of myself and the town council, THANK YOU for all that you do for our kids!
Jerry L. Jones