We’ve talked previously about how the Campbell Field Renovation project started with an almost busted nose and how the upgrades to the batting cages rose out of tragedy. Now it’s time to start the meat and potatoes of how to renovate a baseball field with minimal money and very little skill. (Hint: It’s all about living in a great and giving community where people are willing to give their hard-earned dollars, their time, and their skill to help give our kids a decent place to play baseball.)
Soon after we made the decision to start improving Campbell Field, there was a story in the local paper about how our baseball field was an unsafe eyesore. The comments were harsh and only barely based in truth. The hardest part to stomach was that these comments came from people who knew nothing about the field, the history of the field, or had ever raised a finger to make the field better. I can’t speak for the other two members of the newly formed ad hoc committee, but it pissed me off.
If we needed any added incentive to improve Kelly Campbell Field, this provided the fuel to drive the project. I guess as a positive side to the facility being called out in public like it did, it was that we three were not the only ones ticked off by the disparaging comments in the media. When news spread we were starting this project, many members of the community stepped up and donated money, and services and time. It was something special.
So here’s what we presented to the city council as Phase One of the plan and the people who were involved in each of the projects. I tried the best I could to remember all the names of the wonderful community members who have helped at Campbell Field. If I leave anyone out, I apologize in advance. Please send me a message and I’ll add you to the honor roll.
Once again, a huge “Thank You” to the baseball community of Clay County and beyond! This renovation project was truly a labor of community love for the game.
Phase 1 (Fall 2013)
A. Initial preparation for infield grating.
- Spray and kill grass in designated areas.
- Remove baselines sprinkler head and base anchors from the infield.
- Remove dead grass.
- Tilling and grading dirt in high spots for field shaping.
- Shape infield with available dirt.
See diagram #1
Gary Carlson and Art Tannehill for their expertise and skill grading and reshaping the infield.
B. Seeding grass around the infield area.
- Ground and soil preparation
Phil Francis for soil prep and seeding.
Clay Center Coop for the donation of the grass seed.
C. Limestone track around dugouts and batter’s walkway.
- Sod cut from high pole to high pole, 3’ wide, 3” deep.
- Fill with crushed limestone, level, and roll pack.
Scott Howe for the use of his sod cutter.
Brian Martin for the donation of limestone screenings from Martin Quarry.
Arlan Close for hauling the limestone screenings.
Sean McDonald and CTI for use of a John Deere bucket tractor to place the limestone.
D. Construct dugout protection screen.
- 25’ long, 4-4.5 foot high pipe frame, attached to concrete.
- Slide and tie netting over the frame.
- Install safety pad rail over top of posts.
Steve Cyre of Clay Center Public Utilities for fabrication of dugout screens from recycled pipe.
- Double mound and double plate bullpen mounds for both home and away side of the field.
Morganville Lumber for the donation of the original wood frames.
Andy Bent and Barrett Long for building the original frames.
Top Cut Construction for rebuilding the bullpen frames in 2017.
Until next time when we take a look at Phase Two.
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