Play Ball! Easton Baseball League Upgrades Field

The Easton Baseball League has rounded third and crossed home plate on its newly renovated 50/70 Majors field for eligible fifth, sixth and seventh graders playing in the Cal Ripken youth baseball league. Located at 650 Morehouse Road, the field—which measures 70 feet from home plate to first base, and 50 feet from home plate to the pitcher’s mound—is an exciting new addition to Easton’s youth baseball community.

Although Covid-19 extended the timeline of the project, planning for the field renovation started long before the pandemic. “The Easton Baseball Board began planning for a new 50/70 baseball field five to six years ago,” said Rob McDermott, president of the Easton Baseball League. “We began to fundraise for this project a year and a half ago and decided as a group that we would utilize the field that was in existence behind Easton Country Day school and greatly enhance it.”

Danielle Alves, Easton Park and Recreation Department director, worked closely with Easton Baseball on the renovations, and is excited to share all of the upgrades the new field has to offer.

“Easton Baseball recently did a huge fencing upgrade at the 50/70 field, including a double-sided batting cage, solar-powered scoreboard, and  final touches of bleachers as well as turf,” said Alves.

New scoreboard at Easton Baseball’s renovated 50/70 field.Photo Easton Courier Staff

Although the renovation was several years in the making, McDermott says the results were definitely worth the wait for Easton baseball families. “As a baseball community, we feel that this field is going to be so important to our players,” said McDermott. “As our children come up through our league, they will look forward not only to playing at our great Field of Dreams field at Staples, but to our new 50/70 baseball facility as well.”

Although the new and improved field has been open for several weeks, Covid protocols and guidelines have still remained in the forefront as the Easton youth baseball program continues to emphasize safety so that everyone can enjoy the new field together. “We have continued to follow the Connecticut Youth Sports Covid Guidelines, and at the start of the season dugouts and spectator stands remained closed,” said McDermott.

Initially, the new 50/70 field was available only for practices but was able to schedule games by mid-May as Covid conditions have improved and the guidelines have been adjusted, according to McDermott. 

“The process for putting this plan in motion had many moving parts, on our end, many board members past and current were involved in seeing this through as well as we have collaborated with town agencies, particularly our great Easton Park and Recreation partner,” McDermott said. “Danielle Alves and her team were very helpful in this process and their importance in this field getting built should be noted, as well as their importance to our town.”

New dugout at renovated 50/70 baseball field at 650 Morehouse Road.–Photo Easton Courier Staff

It was “all hands on deck” throughout the renovation process, and McDermott expressed his gratitude for all the support he received from his fellow volunteers. “All past and present Easton Baseball League board members should be congratulated on their hard work and in particular past President Kerry Caylor,” McDermott said. “Kerry has been instrumental in this process and even after stepping down from his role as president has seen this through and taken this to the goal line.”

McDermott is most impressed by the overwhelming support the project received from the Easton families during renovations and is hopeful that the community enjoys the new addition. “The baseball community has been very supportive of this project and now that we have the field complete, and our community reads this article, we hope folks come and enjoy the new field this summer,” said McDermott. For now, “games will be played on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings throughout the spring.”

New batting cage at renovated 50/70 baseball field.–Photo Easton Courier Staff

Now that the improved 50/70 field project is completed, the Park and Recreation Department will focus on its next field renovation project, Alves said.

“Our department will be renovating the infield at Easton Country Day’s [46/60 Minors] field in June most likely, and that is part of Easton Park and Recreation’s five-year baseball infield renovation plan,” said Alves. “We rotate the work on the ball fields each year so we can make sure they are safe for play and looking great.”

Easton parents and players enjoying the renovated 50/70 field at 650 Morehouse Road.–Photo Courtesy of Easton Baseball League

For more information regarding Easton Baseball visit http://eastonbaseballleague.website.sportssignup.com/.

Easton Baseball to Build 50/70 Baseball Field

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.”