The Hamilton Joes will have new turf to play on this year, and local youth baseball teams may also have a chance in the future to use the upgraded fields.
New turf infield was long overdue at Foundation Field, said Darrel Grissom, Hamilton Joes GM and baseball coach for Miami Hamilton, whose team also uses the field at 1140 Front St.
“So far our players love it,” Grissom said, adding with a laugh, “in the long run it’s going to be helpful to our fielding percentage.”
The Joes play at Foundation Field as part of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, and the 600-seat stadium is also home to Miami University Hamilton’s baseball team.
The new turf is the first in a series of planned improvements at Foundation Field. As each piece of the field is fixed up, fundraising will be key to getting projects completed, Grissom said.
“This year we got a brand new turf infield. The outfield will be redone in May after our season is done here at Miami,” he said.
The city has been working with Miami University Hamilton and the Hamilton Joes to make improvements to Foundation Field and the Booker T. Washington Community Center, which is located next to the field, according to City Manager Joshua Smith.
“The city would like to rotate some Hamilton Little League games at the field too,” Smith said.
Miami University Hamilton has committed about $150,000 toward the field improvements, according to Smith.
He said the Hamilton Joes are actively fundraising for the project and the city “will have a minor contribution towards the turf.”
Other improvements in the area include an expanded parking lot just north of the Booker T. Washington Community Center, new LED lighting at Foundation Field, a new fenced-in splash pad just south of the community center, and new playground equipment at the center.