Preparing to Play Ball in South Williamsport
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT–In just a few days, thousands of people will flock to South Williamsport for the Little League World Series.
For some that means ten days jam-packed with baseball. For others it means getting things ready behind the scenes.
While the players are practicing for the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, dozens of behind-the-scene volunteers are just as busy making sure the fields are ready to play ball.
“People sit at home and think it`s a beautiful field but they don`t realize what goes into it,” Jeff Fowler said.
There are more than 40 grounds crew volunteers from all over the country who have the task of making sure the fields look perfect.
“They are safe and playable for the kids. We have to make them look really good so it’s a good reflection on little league as an organization,” Seth Whitehill said.
Volunteers only have a few days to replace the grass on Lamade Stadium.
“Then we’re going to work on edges, and top dress the infield. Fix up the pitcher’s mound and batter boxes and we’ll be good to go for the world series,” Whitehill said.
A lot of people think the only time these fields are used is during the Little League World Series, but crews say there are actually 80 games played here at the complex during the year, including a six-week summer camp that just wrapped up. This year crews had only nine days to prepare the field before the world series.
“Which is pretty much the equivalent of a major league team having a six-week home stand,” Whitehill said.
Jeff Fowler and his son Evan live in Seneca, in northwestern Pennsylvania, and have been volunteering at the little league complex in South Williamsport for 15 years.
“We enjoy being here to take care of the fields to make them safe and attractive for the rest of the world to enjoy,” Fowler said.
“I love this. I love being outside and I love baseball. This is perfect,” Evan Fowler said.
The crew says they have been working from 7 a.m. until midnight each day making sure the fields look fantastic for the Little League World Series.