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Improvements requested for Funkstown baseball field

August 10, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

FUNKSTOWN -- Funkstown American Legion baseball manager Jeff Williams asked town officials Monday for some help with improvements at the ballfield in Funkstown Community Park.

The team has made some improvements at the Legion field in recent years, but there are a few items the team is looking to the town for help with, Williams told town officials at Monday night's Town Council meeting.

Team volunteers have tried cutting and spraying weed killer on honeysuckle on the left-field, chain-link fence, but the plant keeps growing back and is so heavy the fence is in danger of falling, Williams said.

The team made the dugout fences taller to protect players from foul balls, but could use some help making the 4-foot-fences on the left- and right-field lines 6 feet high to provide greater protection for spectators who sit along the fence lines, Williams said. The ball comes off an aluminum bat quickly so there's little time to react, he said.

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Williams asked if team volunteers could move the backstop at the Little League field, which is hardly used, to the Legion field. No Little League team uses that field, Williams said after the meeting.

Williams said the Funkstown Legion team is going to submit a bid to host the 2011 state championships and having the backstop at the Legion field would improve the use of the field as a practice field. Legion officials are hoping to use Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown for the games, he said.

Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said town officials would look into the requests.

Councilman John Phillips III said after the meeting that town officials would check out the left-field fence situation.

Councilman Kim Ramer said perhaps hotel-motel tax revenue could be used to make some field improvements. Ramer said he heard some of the tax revenue had been used at Hagerstown's Fairgrounds Park and if that's the case, there should be some tax revenue for the ballfield.

Williams said Funkstown's Legion team made it to states this year, winning its first game and losing its next two.

With the group of players the team has, the team is expected to be a contender for the next five years at least, he said. Ages 19 and younger can play Legion ball, Williams said.

Williams said Funkstown expects to add another team next year. Some things need to be finalized, but Williams expects to make an announcement in January.

Improvements the team has made to the Legion field in the park during the last two years include adding patio areas with pavers, painting cinder blocks, landscaping the field and installing new bleacher seats, Williams said in a phone interview after the meeting.

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