CAZENOVIA – The Cazenovia Baseball Softball Association (CBSA) is asking for community support to improve the two youth baseball and softball courts at Burton Street Park.
The organization launched a GoFundMe campaign for the project in August. 1. 3.
“Burton Street Park itself is a great resource for this community,” said CBSA President Brian Gardner. “Youth baseball and softball play a big role in the use of the park, but it also offers ice skating and hockey, the basketball court and the playground. We are so lucky to have it right in the center of the village and accessible to everyone. By improving the baseball fields, we will improve the overall experience for not only the players, but also the families and other communities who come to play and watch. “
According to the GoFundMe site, both fields will be “completely refinished with a dirt field and surrounding grading and drainage improvements that will create a safe and reliable playing surface… [Donating] distributes current and future baseball and softball families through a surface that gives every young athlete the opportunity to learn and play properly. ”
Currently, the fields have elements of mind / stone dust.
“Baseball mix infields are smoother and more uniform and provide consistent footing and ball response,” Gardner explained. “Players must react differently to ground balls and base runs on the bottle / stone dust. The new infields will allow our young players to feel more comfortable and confident push and field balls. Our current fields are the only youth fields in the area with the stone / dust bottle. When players travel to other cities, and when they go on to play at school level, they will play in the field with a baseball mix, we want baseball and softball to feel the same from teeball to college, no matter where we play and at what age. The game in the infield should be consistent at all times. “
According to Gardner, the CBSA plans to regrade and shape the park’s current infield to fill in low areas and help control runoff when the fields are wet. It also plans to use sod to better define the base paths and the area behind the home plate.
In addition, Field 1 will include a professionally built dirt pile for the youth baseball court, and Field 2 will have a portable pitching pile that will enable more sports and age groups such as youth baseball, softball, coach court and t-ball, to use the field.
The field improvement project is a joint effort from CBSA and the Village of Cazenovia, which has already begun to increase the space along the first base track on field 2 to provide more space for spectators. The village is also rebuilding the first excavation on field 2.
CBSA uses the Burton Street fields from April to mid-October each year.
“We usually have 150 to 200 tees playing tee, softball and baseball in our organization,” Gardner said. “We have seen an increase in interest and more teams at all levels in recent years, even with a canceled spring season due to COVID last year. Last summer, we were able to create a safety protocol so that children and families can get together, outside and socially distant, for the first time in several months and participate in a sport they enjoy. We could not have done this without the Burton Street fields and the support of the Village of Cazenovia. ”
According to Gardner, the GoFundMe campaign is completely independent of the organization’s work budget for regular seasons, which is funded by player registration fees and donations from sponsors.
“This money is allocated to equipment, referee fees, insurance and league fees required to run a season,” Gardner said. “We do not intend to spend money on it to support this goal, and registration fees will remain affordable for families. In turn, each donation to our $ 25,000 goal will be used to improve the field in favor of games and baseball and softball, and will not contribute to our regular seasonal costs. “
The association hopes to raise enough funds to start the renovation this autumn.
From and including aug. 26, the community had contributed nearly $ 6,000.
To view the GoFundMe website, visit gofundme.com/f/burton-street-field-improlements.
CBSA also sells raffle tickets to win a PlayStation 5. All proceeds from the raffle go to improvements in the field. Tickets can be purchased for $ 5 each or five for $ 20 at Cazenovia Farmers’ Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 4, Sept. 11 and Sept. 18. The drawing will take place on Saturday 18 September.
Community members are also encouraged to consider donating bottles and cans to the CBSA at Caz Cans.