FINISHED PRODUCT: Today was very productive. Ray Reinhart and I worked together to level out the remaining mound of dirt left over from Saturday. The results look excellent. A shower came through the park about 5:30 an really wet down the new dirt. At that time there were no puddles but additional showers after dark dumped some more rain on the field. We will check conditions on Monday.
With a few helping hands, we did a lot in one day. The load of “screened soil” arrived about 8:45 AM. The load was dumped in middle of infield near the 3rd baseman fielding position. This was the best location to minimize the transfer distance to where we needed this dirt.
For anyone who has played 3rd base at Tobey, you know how awkward it can be finding a place where you are comfortable that you can react safely on a ground ball.
Our goal is to make this area become even with the level of the infield grass. We also needed to change the step-up a player had to be aware of when charging a ball in front of them and to their right if a pop-up in foul territory required them to move to their right. The height difference between ground and grass level was an average of 8 inches in some places.
With the new “filler” dirt being regular clay with no sand mix, we made a decision to scrape as much of the red clay-sand mix from the current area so it could be replaced after the fill dirt is distributed. At our next opportunity we plan to add another load of clay-sand mix to other areas of the infield where needed.
One of our other objectives was to expand the dirt width to the foul side of the 3rd base line. Due to consistent drainage in this area and players rounding 3rd base and killing the grass base, we eliminate the problem by expanding the infield in this area. So a whole lot of sod was removed. The distace from 3rd base line to grass went from 2 ft. to 5 ft 6 inches.
Another key improvement area was the dirt cutout in front of 3rd base. What was a quarter moon shape is now a straight line parallel with baseline from 2nd to 3rd with a 45 degree return to inside of infield. As much of the dirt we have to use will also be placed along back of infield grass to erase the hump/drop-off in this area. More dirt will be needed to bring the entire infield up for better fielding and drainage.
With a general lack of earth moving equipment, we are relying on manual labor. I will be honest, this is hard work. It is not difficult but we could use some more help. What we accomplished today was outstanding but the fact that we did not finish spreading the load of dirt, we are now faced with strong possibility of the remaining mound of dirt becoming a “mud-mound” with threats of rain tomorrow evening and again Monday & Tuesday.
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