WEST LIBERTY – It might not seem like it now, but the sun will eventually come out again. Even if it’s still a little damp outside, the ballplayers in West Liberty will be saying “batter up” a bit sooner than they would be on plain old grass and mud.
The West Liberty Ball Association is installing the first turf baseball infield in the tri-county area at Dodge Park, which is owned by the village. WLBA was able to secure the installation through a generous private donation. The value of the field is roughly $80,000.
Workers spent much of Tuesday laying down the new field surface before a deluge of rain stopped the action on Wednesday.
Having the turf will allow WLBA to host additional tournaments, play shortly after inclement weather and bring more people into the community. The new turf can be played on in as little as 10 minutes after a downpour. WLBA aspires to add lights to at least one field in the park. It doesn’t currently have lights on any field.
The village of West Liberty has previously stated that it is committed to lighting one field this year.
The WLBA season has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic but says it is committed to forging on and providing the best possible facilities for youth.
The WLBA is a 501c3 non-profit organization run by nine board members who maintain Dodge Park through in-kind and monetary donations. Almost all labor for improvements is provided by the board.
LeVan Excavating of Logan County is placing turf on the field. The company is donating this upgrade.
On March 23, ground will be broken at Lions Park for the splashpad, scheduled to have a grand opening on May 23. This project is being accomplished through donations and grants.