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Chambersburg Trojans to move to new ballfield

October 10, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. ? Generations of Trojans baseball players have rapped out hits and turned double plays at Henninger Field in Chambersburg, a tradition that will likely end in 2008 with the team moving to a new field at Greene Township's municipal park near Scotland.

The Chambersburg School Board on Wednesday authorized the administration to draft an agreement with the township for use of its field, a proposal township Supervisor Todd Burns outlined for the board a few months ago.

Burns told the school board then that the township was looking for a multiyear deal starting at $15,000 annually that would give the Trojans exclusive use of the ballfield during the high school baseball season.

Always competitive under longtime coach Bob Thomas, the Trojans were Pennsylvania state champs a couple of years ago. Superintendent Joseph Padasak told the board that Thomas approved of the move if the borough of Chambersburg did not plan major improvements to Henninger Field.

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Padasak said sod has been laid at the new field, and it will be ready for play this spring. The ballfield will have major league dimensions at 320 feet down the lines and 400 feet to deep center.

Henninger Field poses a number of problems, Padasak said, including limited parking and drainage problems on the uneven field. The field could still be an option for night games because it has lights, Padasak said.

The field will have a two-story building for press, concessions, bathrooms and storage, a sprinkler system, dugouts, batting cages, bleacher seating for 900 and a "viewing hill" around the outfield, Burns said in June. The township will maintain the field and does not want a cut from concession and ticket sales, Burns had told the board.

The board vote was unanimous, but Board President Thomas Orndorf waxed nostalgic about the old diamond, saying a lot of kids learned and played the national pastime at Henninger. He recalled his father-in-law telling him that Babe Ruth played an exhibition game there in the 1920s.

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