Valley youth baseball leagues compete for field makeover
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The battle for a ball field makeover is now underway. Four youth baseball diamonds in the Valley are competing with other ball fields in Northern California.
The online competition is worth at least $20,000 in renovations. Former Grizzlies fan-favorite, Buster Posey now with the San Francisco Giants, has teamed up with Toyota to sponsor the makeover.
The contest is for Junior Giants League fields. Nine dilapidated diamonds are in the running. Los Banos is in the lead.
The Junior Giants are in the off-season right now. But they're still working hard on their field. Not physically, but electronically.
The 7th Street Ball Field is in first place for Buster's Ball Field Makeover.
The city and the Giants Community fund said the field and the 8 other competitors are just rundown.
"We've taken a beating the past few years as far as budget stuff goes. I mean, the grass gets mowed here, but there's no real upkeep," said Noah Jones of Los Banos.
And still the kids love to play here. Shaelyn Pugliese is campaigning for her field to everyone she knows. "I talk to all my friends, I tell my cousin in Hilmar to vote. I tell everybody to vote," she said.
Three other local fields are also in the running. The uneven, overgrown and worn down field at Holmes park in southeast Fresno is in ninth place right now.
In Sanger the city's park's department said the infield at Rotary Park is filled with holes and weeds. The backstop needs new wood and the dugouts could use some shade.
"This field could use a little tender love and care. This field is used quite a bit by the community," said Sean Fitzgerald. Sanger is near the back of the line in 8th place.
Veteran's Park in Atwater is also listed with the rundown fields. There one of the biggest strike outs -- the broken benches.
"I think that'd be really really good," said Christopher Mendoza of Atwater. "The kids would come play all day. It makes it look more decent for the families." That diamond is in fifth place for the makeover.
The Junior Giants League in each of these communities provides a baseball season complete with team shirts, hats and in some cases equipment - all for free.
And if you ask anyone in these leagues their fields and their kids all deserve to win.
"It'll be crazy if we win," said Pugliese. "I would be so happy."
Voting for the contest is all done online. It is limited to one vote per person per day. Voting closes September 3rd.
fresno, fresno county, atwater, los banos, modesto, sports, rick montanez
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