Ten-year-old Peyton Flynn thinks it going to be nice to have an actual baseball field in Stephenville.
The avid ball player, who has been playing second base for the past five years, said it’s going to be great for him and his team to have the benefit of a proper size field.
“The quicker it gets done, the better,” he said of hearing the new field will be started this year.
He plays twice a day in season during week days and thinks its great that once they have an official field that Stephenville will be able to host tournaments and have other teams come in.
Flynn said has no problem with the location being up behind the Stephenville Dome.
While it’s not the location she had hoped, Bernadette Chislett of Stephenville Minor Baseball said at this point their group is thankful a baseball field is getting started.
A few years back her group put in a proposal for a new field as the minor baseball program had growing numbers.
The program uses the softball diamonds in the town but ran into problems for field time as softball has also had a resurgence, so getting use of the fields is not always easy.
Chislett said this poses a problem for hosting baseball tournaments, since those are pre-determined in October.
She said there are differences between a baseball field and a softball field but their biggest hurdle was not being able to get use of the fields at certain times.
At an early March Stephenville town council meeting, council approved requests for quotations for baseball field fencing and for infield mix – the ground used on the pitcher’s mound and outside the grassed area.
It’s estimated the costs this year to the town will be about $30,000 for the quotations it is seeking, which will be added to Emera’s donation of $90,000, for a $120,000 field.
The first time the proposal for the field came to council, $87,000 was being asked for, which Mark Felix, finance chair, said was a big ask for the same type of facility the town closed five years ago – making reference to Pieroway Park, a former baseball diamond located near Minnesota Drive.
That field was getting little use in the years leading up to the decision to close it.
The new facility will be located on Igloo Road to the rear of the Stephenville Dome.
Chislett said the ideal location for the baseball field would have been close to the softball diamonds; however, there are some issues there, so the Igloo Road location will have to do.
She said while the field will have to wait for the hydroseeding to set, they will continue to work with the softball group to share the softball diamonds.
With more than 100 kids involved last year, baseball is a big hit with both the summer program and the evening program also taking off.
“Any money put towards kids getting out and getting active is money well spent,” Chislett said.
Her involvement is personal since she has two daughters – Shilo, 15 years of age; and Devaro, 12 years, who play baseball for the Corner Brook team, since there was no girls league in Stephenville.
Chislett said taking them to different locations she’s seen what kind of baseball facilities there are in different communities and felt Stephenville needed to up its game when it came to baseball.
She said getting a field put in is something they can build on and hopefully have a clubhouse down the road.
“I believe our program will grow once we have a permanent place to call our own,” Chislett said.