Baseball program plans field improvements in Cheshire 



CHESHIRE — Back in spring, the Cheshire Reds youth travel baseball program was pleased to have field conditions addressed at McNamara Legion Field.

Before the organization started its 30th season, the town had Championship Turf Services work on all four diamonds in the complex at 550 Wiese Road and also purchased a new fence for the Mac 4 field.

This fall, the Cheshire Youth Baseball organization is pursuing more projects in advance of the 2022 season. After discussing different ideas for McNamara, the Reds decided that they would like to build dugouts, put up batting cages, and add a storage area for clay and dirt for field maintenance.

During a meeting earlier this year, Reds Vice President Jim Gidicsin told Town Manager Sean Kimball and Cheshire Parks and Recreation Director John Gawlak that volunteers would be willing to provide labor if the town gave them a budget for materials.

“We need to wait for them to give us a green light to start doing the improvements,” said Gidicsin.

The Reds hoped to talk about projects in August, but a meeting was postponed. Officials now plan to schedule a meeting with Gawlak soon. In advance of the discussion, Gidicsin sent a prospectus of what they would like to do this year.

Gawlak said that he is supportive of improvements, but added that steps need to be taken before work can be done.

“This year, the Mac 4 field had a temporary fence installed instead of a permanent one. There is a neighborhood in the back (of the park) and we want to make sure that it is OK to do work there,” Gawlak said. “Once everything is vetted, we can look at our options.”

Iron Workers Local 424 in New Haven has contacted Gidicsin about helping to install dugouts at McNamara. Gidicsin added that one of the Reds managers is a contractor and will see if he can also get materials donated.

In advance of his meeting with the Reds, Gawlak has spoken with workers about field work.

“I’m trying to be careful to not do things that infringe on the work of different unions,” said Gawlak.

He also wants to discuss field preservation with the Reds organization.

“In the past, maintaining fields was done mostly by volunteers. We’d like to talk about working together to keeping things in good condition,” said Gawlak.

Gidicsin said funding would decide how many projects the Reds can do this year, but the organization would like to install dugouts over the benches on all four fields at McNamara.

“We would just be putting a roof on the existing structure,” said Gidicsin

In their field plan, the Reds hope to put batting cages in between fields 3 and 4 and fields 1 and 3.

“I think the batting cages would require more work than the dugouts,” Gidicsin said.

Gidicsin said that a storage facility could also be constructed in the back of the park. He added that, if everything falls into place, the Reds are looking at starting work early next month.

Along with trying to get materials together, the Reds have received almost $4,000 in donations since former coach Greg Mostoller died on May 5. Mostoller’s wife Theresa contacted CYB President Randy Bellair to say that she was asking friends and family to recognize him by giving to the baseball organization.

“I’ve had exchanges with her about Greg’s experience with the Reds,” said Gidicsin. “He was very passionate about working with the boys, and she felt that he would have appreciated the money going back to the program.”

Mostoller coached in the Reds program from 2006 to 2013.

If the Reds receive approval on the dugout project, the organization is planning to recognize Mostoller at the start of next season.

As part of Cheshire Youth Basball, the Reds are open to residents and students who attend school in town. In September, the program holds tryouts.

 



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