After 45 years of use, thousands of kids have grown up playing baseball at Grand Mesa Little League. Hundreds of kids play at the park each year, but now GMLL wants to bring ‘field 2’ up to date.
Field 2 is in need of an upgrade to comply with today’s safety standards. The field hasn’t changed since it was moved to the park in 1974 and now they want to improve the backstop, dugouts, and other aspects of the field.
“The current backstop isn’t tall enough, it’s also not long enough,” GMLL president Chris Riley said.
With the backstop not large enough, foul balls from field one interfere with the game and vice versa.
“The bigger kids on field one, when they hit a ball, it’s not uncommon for it to come over and land in the path of third base and the shortstop and even the left fielder,” Riley added. “The new backstop will run all the way down again to the third base line so most of those balls will be stopped. So no longer a safety issue for the kids playing on the field.”
This issue is something that the players have to deal with every game. Riley also wants to move the dugouts so fans have a bigger viewing area, while giving the players more room to play.
“Dugouts will sit on the backside of third base which opens up those site lines for parents,” Riley added. “It will also enhance play-ability, by not having part of the field occupied by the dugout.”
Some of the other changes Riley wants to make is to add grass to the infield and revamp the batters eye in center field.
Riley said that they already received $8,000 in donations out of the $28,000 that they need in order to purchase the material needed for the upgrades. GMLL has established a GoFundMe account that anyone can donate to, and will also participate in multiple drives over the Winter to make sure the new structure is in place before the start of the Springs 2020 season.
Here’s the link to the GoFundMe so you can donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/grandmesalittleleague
It’s not just money that they are in need of, they also need service and material donations.
“We’re looking for those donations and that community help, because we don’t want to pass that down to parents and through registration fees,” Riley said. “Currently 30 percent of our league is on scholarship, we would like to keep it that way. We don’t want the cost of play to prohibit kids taking the field.”
Grand Mesa Little League will start the upgrades as soon as it has reached its financial goal. The time to build the improvements will take about three weeks.
The league plans on having everything done before March of 2020 which is the start of the Spring season.