Here we go,
I coach HS baseball in Maine. Our school is a Middle/High school. Very small and rural. but we have both middle and high school teams. we have 2 baseball fields, but one has been left unmaintained for 10+ years. the excuse for stopping using it was that the outfield stays pretty wet, and they had a local contractor offer to build dugouts for the other field, so they put all their eggs in that basket. they keep this old field mowed and use the outfield for the girls soccer field (not to wet at the end of summer/fall). The backstop is in good shape. There have never been dugouts but just a couple benches on either side for the teams. the mound is still somewhat elevated. Most of the infield has sparse grass growing in where the dirt is, but you can still tell the basic outline and area where the dirt is (soccer field doesnt use this area).
What i would like to do is get this old field revived. there could be a lot of benefits to our program if we did this: we wouldnt have such scheduling headaches between HS and the MS teams scheduling games and practices. Id also like to host a preseason tourney that could possibly bring some money into our program. Currently we have just 1 scrimmage each year and it usually gets rain/snowed out depending on how the spring goes. the closest preseason tourney like this is a 2+ hour drive that, so far, the school isnt willing to spring for. The tourney charges $125 per team to enter. Im confident that we could get 8-10 schools on board for a tourney. So theres +/- $1k each year for hosting, not counting umpires or concessions. one of the former coaches owns the local hardware store. a girl on the softball team has a father with a big landscaping business in the area. I think i could also get a lot of parents on board with the effort and have a fair amount of supplies donated. I would like to pitch the idea, start networking, and try to revive this field over the summer for use in the 2016 season.
a few questions:
- The part of the field that stays the wettest is right/right center field. there is a wooded area behind this portion of the field and it does slope downhill. Im thinking 1-2 well placed french drains would fix this issue. Anyone have experience with french drains on a baseball/soccer field in the outfield? Any idea on cost involved? It seems like renting a trench digger for a couple days and installing one wouldnt be too crazy of a project. gravel would be the biggest expense here probably and that is another thing that i might be able to have a parent donate, or at least work with us on cost.
-Are there other options i should be looking into for drainage? I know tile drains are commonly used for athletic fields, but this seems like too big of a project to get some parents together and bang out over the summer. looks like it would really require serions pros with heavy machinery. Would French drains be adequate and hold up to the frosting and thawing up here in the north? Im thinking probably as long as we get them deep enough (2-3 ft.).
-What would be a realistic estimate on having the infield redone? total overhaul? or even just doing home, the mound, and each base and having grass basepaths for a couple years before totally overhauling it? again, this is something i think that i could get a crew of players and parents together to help work on. Would just want to make sure that the mound is really done right. even a rough estimate on supplies from someone who has done something like this before? I know its hard telling without pics, but we still have snow on the ground here.
Anyone with any experience with this sort of thing. I would love to hear from you? Thanks!