‘It feels more like a baseball field’
In the past, the K-M baseball field has represented a random diamond in the middle of nowhere. It’s gotten the job done, but there were little intricacies that hindered the fan experience. With several additions this fall, the hope is that not only will fans be
able to get a better view of the game, but it will make for a better overall experience for everyone involved.
Watching a game at the field right now is a bit of a chore for spectators. The wooden dugout on the third baseline tended to hinder the view of right field from the bleachers. The path to get to the field is also tricky as it is currently over the football practice fields and includes hills and other obstacles that make it difficult for the dis- abled to make their way there.
To solve this problem, K-M took down its old wooden dug- outs and replaced them with new brick ones that are also taller and wider than its prede- cessors. The dugouts are also moved back to free up the view for spectators. In addition, a new path will be created from the high school to the baseball field and out to KMTelecom Stadium to make sure every- one can come see the KoMets from the stands.
“A lot of it from a fan’s point of view is that it’s easier to see the game,” K-M baseball coach Matt Franke said of the improvements. “It seems more like a baseball field rather than just a place we were play- ing ball.”
Along with the dugouts and path to the field, the bleacher area will also be getting an overhaul. There are plans in the works to add a concrete or blacktop surface to the specta- tor area which will also have picnic tables for an alternate seating choice. The bleachers will also be backed up to give spectators a better view of the field and will be in the shadow of a new Crow’s Nest.
The Crows Nest will also have its benefits for the team as it gives them a place for storage and operation. In the past, the players and manag- ers had been crammed into the tiny dugouts along with all of the scoreboard equipment. Moving the operation to the Crow’s Nest will not only free
up room, but protect the equip- ment as well.
“It gives us plenty of storage space,” Franke said. “In the past, when it has rained, you would have your scoreboard and sound stuff out in the ele- ments. This helps us prevent that as well.”
Finally, it’s expected that the field will also have a new blue backstop that will be of a net- like material and provide more room behind home plate. Such an addition will not only help the fan experience, but give the KoMets more of a home
“Sometimes on wild pitches and passed balls, you can’t even score from third because it was so close,” Franke explained. “We’ll gain about
8-10 feet with this and it will be a little wider.”
In addition to all of this, there are other projects in the works at the field. A top prior- ity is to level the infield and outfield for safety purposes and a concession stand is expected to be added along the third base line so workers can also have a clear view of the game.
Overall, it’s a way to improve the fan experience at KoMet games while also show- ing off the hard work that the booster club has done to make these things happen.
“It’s nice for the guys who put in their hard work fun- draising to see that go into this,” Franke said. “I think it will make a better atmosphere and, with the lights we added last year, seem like a baseball