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Dear Baseball Fan,

Brian was dreaming of upgrading his baseball field.  But he knew it would take some money.   Maybe lots of money.  Should that stop him?  Jim offers some examples and case studies for getting a baseball grant to get him going.


Issue #4


Highly
Recommended





Recen
t Articles

Conversation with Turf Manager of the Year

Trials and Triumphs of a young pitcher

What Players Never Tell YOU

The Coach Thinks in Terms of Results

How I Cut Field Maintenance Time in Half

21 Dirt Maintenance Blunders to Avoid

 







Archives

Article Archive








Inspiration

"You will never have significant success with anything until it becomes an obsession with you." -- Coach Gunter.





Your One Stop Place to Increase
Field Safety and Playability

FEATURES:
  • BASEBALL FIELD PROJECTS: what to do when the decision makers don't believe you can really make it happen

  • FIELD MAINTENANCE: weekly activities for the best field

  • SHOW ME THE MONEY $$: on getting grant money

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

  • Feedback: Ever ask players how the field is they play on? 

  • Did You Know... trying hard might not be good enough

  • Preparing for next year - It's not too early to start

Field Renovation: Make 'em a Field They Can't Refuse

Once upon a time a high school senior headed off to college to play baseball and to learn about life.

His college team was in its third year and really the program was still forming.  Being a new program, the college team played on a field at a park and rec complex.  There were six fields... softball, little league, and one college size field used by PONY league.

The college field was old, worn out, and worst of all, had a huge buildup in the middle of the infield. It was as if the mound was 30 feet in diameter and much higher than regulation.  Not many grounders bounced straight.

People had talked for years about scraping it flat and starting over.  But since it was a multi-use field, the only time open to work on it was during the winter rainy season.  And that just wasn't going to happen.

Read the rest of this surprising baseball field story here.


Weekly Field Maintenance Activities - What Should You Be Doing With Your Field Now?

lt's All Star Tournament time!  Here's what players age 11-16 said about the fields they played on (park and rec, little league, and a college field)

good: no lips, short grass for good bounces, hits in the gap go to the wall, the mound is sloped right and has a good landing
bad: dusty and loose infield skin, bad hops at the grass edge, the mound is like a big bump in the field and pitchers loose their footing and balance

I wouldn't say any game's outcome was determined by the field, but the various fields did add some challenges to the games.  The fields need more WATER!  It's Hot out!

It always come back to basics.  Whether it's the field or it's the players. 

[Note: If you
are caring for baseball or softball fields, then this log of baseball field activities has a gold mine of ideas and tips for you.]


Need Money for Your BIG Baseball Field Project?
Then Maybe Grant Money Is For You.

Brian was stuck.  He dreamed of a BIG ball field upgrade, but didn't know where he'd get the money.  He didn't know there really is baseball grant money out there. But, you have to seek it out and work for it.

One source of funds for your baseball field projects is the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.  This is sponsored by Major League Baseball and the Players Association. 

So, I want to show you three things:

  • one very good example of an initial inquiry for a grant,
  • a thorough grant request itself, and
  • several case studies of those who were successful in getting a baseball grant.

Ready for baseball project grant examples and case studies?
Then try this: Pursuing a Baseball Grant $$


Feedback: What Players Never Tell You

It was a typical senior league baseball practice.

The 15 and 16 year old players stretched and played catch.  They took their positions and went through some game situation drills.  Then they took batting practice and set up a few stations for batting drills.  This concluded with some baserunning. 

Then the players and the coaches huddled up and talked about the next game and where they needed to improve.

Just before they broke to head home, a coach asked them a question rarely asked of players, "How was the field to play on?"

It was silent for a moment.  Was this a dumb question?  Or what?

Suddenly there was a flood of responses:  Find out what players think about your baseball field


It's Good to Know:
Trying Hard is Not Good Enough. 

The difference between success and disappointment often lies in what each person knows and how he or she makes use of that knowledge. 

Here's a true story of two young men who were little league stars at age 12.  Nine years later they meet and reflect on what has happened with their baseball, college, and business interests. 

Read this true baseball pitching story of two young men.


Getting a jump on preparing for next year


Unfortunately, I've learned the hard way that it’s better to do some planning before you start a major project.   That way you'll incorporate the right materials, the right equipment, and the right labor to get the job done.

A little time up front will save you a lot of headaches later that just eat up your time. 

Here's how to get on top of this.

Use a ballpark audit checklist.
 

When you are done, you'll know exactly what your ballfield condition is and exactly what you need to do to fix problem areas or prevent something from becoming a problem.

I've found that a checklist is the way to go.  It also shows me where the priority areas area: safety.  I'm sure you could make up your own checklist, or just go out and walk your entire field and take notes.

If you want a starter checklist that I've used, try this: 
Save Time with Preseason or Pre-Tournament BallPark Checklists

 


Have a Question for Jim Reiner?  Have an Idea to Share with Readers?


Speak out.  Use the Better Fields for Better Play contact form.



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