Muskoka Hornets Pitch In $3,000 For Ball Diamond Renovations

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On Sunday, September 29, 2019 the Muskoka Hornets held their season wrap-up event at James W. Kerr Park.
Over the past few years the Muskoka Hornets baseball program has seen significant growth in the number of younger players participating in baseball and they have been able to move these players through the system which has resulted in a vibrant older youth program.
The younger baseball players play on a softball diamond, however, at age 14 the youth are required to play on a baseball diamond which includes: a 10 inch high pitching mound; longer baselines; and deeper outfields.
The Muskoka Hornets, who have the younger players playing on Peake Fields on Saturdays and Sundays, are thrilled that the older players now have a baseball diamond to call home. The Bantams and Midgets practice at the James W. Kerr Park baseball diamond Monday through Friday and host travelling team games on weekends.
The original James W. Kerr Park baseball diamond was converted to a softball diamond in early 2000’s to accommodate the number of softball players in Bracebridge. Subsequent to the diamonds at Peake Fields being developed in 2010, the softball leagues in Bracebridge no longer wished to play at James W. Kerr Park. The James W. Kerr Park diamond was closed and fell into disrepair.
Included in the Town of Bracebridge 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Municipal Budget and Business Plan was funding to refurbish the baseball diamond at James W. Kerr Park. Over the last four years the large ball diamond at James W. Kerr Park has been refurbished at a total cost of $70,000.
In 2016 improvements included the installation of a raised clay pitching mound and refurbishment of the home plate and batter’s box area. This was an important enhancement to the in-field and was the first phase of necessary improvements required to bring the baseball diamond back to playing conditions.
In 2017 sod was laid between the dugouts and playing field and surrounding the entire infield creating a safer playing surface that meets the quality standards of a municipal baseball field.
In 2018 Washington Ball Mix infield clay was installed on the infield; a surface which is safe, durable and has a quick recovery after rain; new granite screening material was installed on the warning track; and plastic fence guards were installed at the top of the fence.
In 2019 the backstop was raised to improve playability, roofs were installed on the dugouts for rain and sun protection and bull pens were installed.
“The Town of Bracebridge has a long tradition of supporting softball and baseball” stated Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney. “The improvement to James W. Kerr Park baseball diamond celebrates this tradition and ensures our youth have an opportunity to participate in this great sport”.
“We are truly grateful to the Town of Bracebridge for its commitment to complete the refurbishment of James W. Kerr Park baseball diamond,” commented Peter Haynes, President of the Muskoka Hornets. “Over the summer, we hosted three tournaments and played upwards of 50 games on the renovated field, and it is now truly one of the top baseball diamonds in the York Simcoe Baseball Association. The addition of higher fencing and bullpens is just the icing on the cake to what is now a top notch facility. We can’t think of a better place to celebrate the end of a great season of baseball,” he added.
The Muskoka Hornets are very appreciative of the support received from the Town of Bracebridge and presented Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney with a cheque for $3,000 to help with the renovations.

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