BY DAVE PEDERSEN
Despite having the Delano Municipal baseball park improvement project still in progress, the effort is already being noticed.
The park was recently named the 2013 Field of the Year by the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association. The facility played host to the recent section tournament.
“It’s a nice honor that shows the volunteer efforts of our community service organizations and many individual community members working together with the City of Delano has paid off,” said Joe Schleper.
The primary purpose for the project was driven by Delano receiving a bid to host the 2013 Class C State Amateur baseball tournament in August. The event will take place on the weekends of Aug. 16-18, 23-25 and Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.
Along with the state tourney, the field will be the site of the annual Stars and Stripes Legion baseball tournament July 3-6.
Schleper said thanks to the Delano Youth Baseball Association for paying for the installation of two batting cages at Central Park, one at Delano Municipal park and one at Dave Zitzloff field.
Volunteer Robb Norling finished the railings of the sideline fan viewing decks. Dan McDonald and his crew stained the decks. Jay Greene built the drink rails on the top row of the decks.
“With donations from the extended Ditty family, Bruce Johnson and possibly the Knights of Columbus, we are looking at adding a limited number of bar stools and pub tables to the top level of the viewing decks,” said Schleper.
It takes a whole bunch of volunteers to run the state town team tournament, notes Schleper. If you are interested in helping out, the project needs everything from ticket takers, concession stand workers, team hosts and scoreboard operators.
Starting Monday, July 8, volunteers will work nights at the ballpark that focuses on getting the field ready for the upcoming state tourney.
“Many labor intensive jobs that will take our ballpark to the next level of excellence will be addressed,” says Schleper. “These include edging the field, trimming the ivy, reseeding and sodding certain areas, giving most everything a fresh coat of paint and cleaning up storage areas.
Thanks to the Delano Lions Club the new bathrooms will be an asset to Central Park, adds Schleper.
The Wenck Engineering firm donated services to come up with the drainage plan and a surface layout. Once the concrete is completed, money raised from the St. Paul Saints game will be used to finish off the ballpark’s exterior fencing with a decorative black fence and gates that matches the fencing on the first base side entrance to the ballpark.
The storage garage has been completed under the volunteer leadership of local construction experts Kevin Danielson and Jeff Kvasnicka, plus a number of other volunteers.
Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]