This coming spring, Easton Baseball League will have a brand new playing field. League officials have been hard at work renovating and building a “stadium-like” 50/70 field for athletes to play on within the town.
Rob McDermott, president of Easton Baseball, believes the field will be finished and ready for play at the beginning of the 2021 spring season, provided COVID-19 restrictions are different.
One of the motivating factors toward renovating the field, which is located behind the Easton Country Day school on Morehouse Road, was to keep children within the town wanting to play baseball.
“It’s really been a work in progress for about five years,” said McDermott. “We had switched to Cal Ripken baseball league four to five years ago and part of it is having a field for the older kids to play on at the 50/70 [intermediate] level. We really wanted to have a field that the kids who were coming up to strive to want to keep playing baseball. With Easton, things are not easy to get done. We set our sights on raising money to make it top-notch.”
On top of wanting the athletes within the town to keep playing the sport, McDermott also added that–since the town of Easton did not have a serviceable 50/70 field–they would have to travel to Redding and other towns in order to host games.
“There was no baseball park feel to it,” said McDermott. “All the kids were going up to Redding and scheduling away games because our field wasn’t up to the standards of today. This provides them the ability to play ball in town and go to a field they are proud of. The goal is to keep Easton kids playing baseball.”
A 50/70 baseball field has dimensions that are larger than those of Little League, but smaller than those of high school baseball and beyond, with the pitching mound 50 feet from home plate, and the bases sitting 70 feet apart.
Given the current state of the country with COVID-19, fundraising has been one of the main difficulties McDermott has had to face throughout the process. So far, the town has raised close to $80,000 through fundraising.
“The biggest obstacle has been meandering through the different channels in town,” said McDermott. “The fundraising has been complicated by the fact that there are not a lot of businesses in Easton. Being able to find folks outside of Easton to support us has been a little challenging, but the support has been great.”