|05-26-2006, 11:51 AM||#1|
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Middletown, Ohio
I found this interesting/frightening all at the same time. There is a pic on BA's website. Anyone seen this???
Independent Leagues Notebook: May 10
By J.J. Cooper
May 10, 2006
The Chillicothe Paints (Frontier League) will never again have to drag an infield or chalk the baselines.
The Chillicothe Paints have gone to a completely turf field
In a move that may either signal the wave of the future or a blow to tradition, the Paints are the first professional team in the U.S. to have an all-Field Turf diamond. The infield, the base paths, the batters boxes and even the pitchers mound are all covered in field turf.
Looking for dirt? You won't find it anywhere on the field.
"All we have to do now is roll the ball out and play," Chillicothe (Ohio) general manager Bryan Wickline said.
The new turf cost just under $1 million, but Wickline said that it should pay for itself in three years because of reduced costs for drying compounds, chalk and the manpower associated with keeping a field up. But probably most importantly, rainouts will be thing of the past.
"You can play 10 minutes after it rains," Wickline said. "It is a no-brainer. I can't even imagine the people that are living around Seattle where it rains all the time. This is just great. Now 95 percent of my worries about the weather are gone. You don't have to have a tarp . . . Unless it's raining so hard we can't start a game, that's the only reason we won't play."
The field can drain 12 inches of water in an hour, meaning that even in a steady rain, the field will stay relatively dry.
The Paints have yet to play a game on the new field, but high school teams have, and they have given it a thumbs up. And some of the Paints pitchers have tried out the new turf mound.
"You can still get in there in front of the (rubber)," Wickline said. "It's been fine. I've had some Paints players in and they love pitching on it. Eventually it will likely be a home field advantage psychologically."
While the Paints have a new field, the Rockford (Ill.) RiverHawks and the new Traverse City (Mich.) Beach Bums will open new parks this season. It marks a pretty impressive transition for the Frontier League, which used to be willing to play just about anywhere.
"Without a doubt, getting the stadiums up to snuff has been a priority," Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee said. "My first year with the league, back in 1994, we were kicking and clawing to play anywhere, whether it was a high school field or Legion field. Now the league has evolved to such a degree that nice facilities are being built for our clubs."
When all is said and done more is said than done.