Waterlogged ballfields draw attention to drains

Los+Medanos+College%27s+baseball+dugouts+in+less+than+preferable+condition.

Cathie Lawrence

Los Medanos College’s baseball dugouts in less than preferable condition.

Jonathan Little, jlittle@lmcexperience.com

One of the biggest aspects of being an athlete of any sport is the place where one plays and competes whether it’s a basketball court, football field or swimming pool.

For a baseball and softball players, the need of maintaining a field is high. Gopher holes pose risks for players running in the outfield. Patches of missing grass in the infield can cause bad hops from the ball. Heavy rain in the weather can cause the fields to be flooded and swamped. These issues have come up in relation to Los Medanos College’s own sports field maintenance.

Head Groundskeeper and Assistant Baseball Coach Andre White said when it comes to maintaining the field, “the school gives us the best opportunity they can, with the allotted budget, but as a district they can do a lot better in giving money for the fields.”

White adds that, with a larger budget, “it can be an easy fix to get good drainage systems for the baseball and softball fields. But as a school we do a good job with what we have.”

Many Los Medanos College student athletes agree with White. Pitcher Nick Menjivar of the baseball team said, “the coaches treat the field as their child and keep it well maintained. It’s just hard with the amount of rain we’ve gotten lately, but as a team including the coaches we do our best to keep it in tip top shape.”

Menjivar also agrees with Coach White about the budget, adding that a larger budget would, “definitely help as we already have a good infield and outfield grass, but the main thing is just the drainage.”

Brittany Bangert, catcher for the LMC softball team, mirrored Menjivar’s feelings, saying, “Yeah I think that Andre and John do a great job with maintaining the field. I think it would be awesome, to get new drainage stuff and fill some of the holes in the outfield.”

White also expressed his appreciation with the teams in helping maintain the field and keeping it in shape and healthy. While the players greatly appreciate White’s contribution, he believes that they contribute heavily as well.

White stays hopeful that there can be a larger budget to work with sooner rather than later. With the school building a new weight room facility for the athletes, the next job the players and coaches hope for is improving the current drainage system on the fields, to better the quality of the field and quality of play.

As for now, White and the athletes will work together do their best with the resources they have to keep the fields in good quality condition.