Ask anyone who knows me well: I’m a student of baseball’s varied and quirky ballparks, and I’ve visited my share of them. Maybe that’s why it interests me that there’s so much activity at area baseball fields this spring. Besides the games, that is.
They’ve been busy laying bricks at Lincoln County, where a sharp new backstop was completed just before opening day. The short brick wall is similar to those that have become fashionable at many other high school fields, and it was topped by a new foul screen. There are also new protective screens in front of the dugouts.
The twist is in the way Lincoln is paying for the project. The team has been selling personalized paving bricks that are being placed in the wall that runs between the dugouts. Contributors can put the message of their choice on their 4-by-8-inch bricks.
The team has already sold well over 100 bricks at $50 each, and those were installed when the wall was built. The larger goal is to sell 300 bricks by the end of this season, with the later sales being installed over the summer.
Coach Danny Masten said the improvements to the field help instill more pride in the program, which has been a point of emphasis since he took over the program before the 2006 season. And he said doing the work this year was important because Lincoln hosts the 45th District Tournament in May.
Light poles were being set into place today at Boyle County, where the wiring is already in place and the lights could come on relatively quickly after all the poles and lights are in place.
The pole-placing forced a Boyle tennis match to be moved because the tennis courts are so close to the baseball field and school officials wanted to take no chances on safety.
The process of digging holes for light poles continues at Danville’s field, but it’s a slow one. Equipment problems and the occasional rainy spell have already stretched the project, which also includes the adjacent soccer field, over three weeks.
There are still two holes to be drilled out — they’re supposed to be 14 feet deep — and that work will almost certainly have to be done from inside the field.