In a Glencoe first, professionals from the South Bend Cubs joined Glencoe Park District team members to work to improve field conditions at Bronco Field at Watts Park.
Five members of Glencoe Park District’s parks department were joined by six volunteers from the South Bend Cubs grounds crew to renovate the clay-based field. Working shoulder-to-shoulder, the professionals from both organizations added 82,000 pounds of clay to the field and then worked to level the field, straighten baselines, and make improvements at both home plate and the pitcher’s mound.
The volunteer day was coordinated by Glencoe resident Andrew Berlin, owner of the South Bend Cubs. Team president Joe Hart managed the project with Glencoe Park District’s Director of Parks, Chris Leiner.
“Collaboration between the Glencoe Park District and the South Bend Cubs grounds crew (a minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) proved to be a big win for the Glencoe Baseball Association and Bronco Field, just west of Watts Center. On November 1, they all came together to provide the community with a top-notch ball field befitting the standard of excellence we have come to expect in our Village!” said Andrew Berlin.
“The day was a great learning opportunity for both crews. Staff from both organizations learned new tips and tricks. Our parks team learned a new edging trick from the South Bend crew, while the South Bend crew was impressed with the Park District’s compact utility loader equipment to level the infield clay,” said Director of Parks Chris Leiner. “Both crews worked hard to put the field to bed for the winter, which will improve the overall player experience when Glencoe baseball resumes in the spring.”
The volunteer effort was designed to prepare the field for the winter, with the goal to improve playing conditions in the spring. Without the volunteers, Glencoe Park District would not have been able to dedicate 88 labor hours to improvements at Bronco Field.
“We have a great parks team but we are few in numbers, so the extra support to do some much need fall baseball field improvements is very much appreciated by all,” said Executive Director Lisa Sheppard. “We are thankful to Andrew Berlin and the South Bend Cubs for helping prepare the fields for Glencoe’s baseball players.”
The South Bend Cubs grounds crew has previously volunteered with local South Bend organizations to improve municipal fields. The November 1 volunteer day was the first time the crew traveled to Illinois to assist with a municipal project. It also was the first time Glencoe Park District was assisted by a professional baseball organization.
Registration for spring baseball in Glencoe starts in January and starts after spring break. For more information, visit www.glencoebaseball.org.