Results tagged ‘ Team USA ’
The 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto will finish up this weekend at the President’s Choice Ballpark in Ajax, Ontario. It started July 6th with practices and ends July 26th. For the first time they have both men and women’s baseball/softball competitions. We have witnessed some tremendous games played on some pretty nice fields maintained by some really awesome people. The “people” are town of Ajax staff, TO2015 competition staff and volunteers and that’s what makes these events so special. Everyone working together! The volunteers are really special and range in age from 17-70. Starting early in the am helping with all the field duties from pulling the big tarp to dragging the hose around because they want to be a part of the games. They work just as hard as everyone else and love just being at the ballpark! The heart of a volunteer is HUGE! We couldn’t have done it without them. Thanks Jack and Randy for bringing them together!
On the sport side, Team Canada took the Gold medal in men’s baseball and USA won Silver with Cuba winning Bronze. Women’s baseball is wrapping up this weekend which is looking like another Canada vs. USA showdown. Same with USA women’s softball who are 5-0 going into the medal rounds this weekend.
The complex is composed of 2 natural bluegrass baseball fields and 4 natural grass softball fields. One baseball field was existing and was totally reconstructed with new dugouts and bullpens. The premier field was a soccer pitch which was transitioned in an overlay process to be the main stadium this past spring. It will remain a baseball field as a legacy to the event. I don’t foresee the town ever turning it back into a soccer field after seeing team Canada win the gold medal on the field and plant a “Toonie” at 2nd base.!!! (That’s what Canadian teams do when they when big games. I’ve seen it before. They run to a grassy area and dig up a piece of grass and push the 2 dollar coin into the soil for…luck.) At softball we had 1 premier field, 1 competition and 1 practice field. The 4th field was used for staging of locker rooms. These fields were upgraded with a few bells and whistles for the games as well. We had a good time working with the town staff with training etc…before the games.
As for how the fields were designed and built, we pretty much used every baseball field product from every distributor in America and Canada on this project. We had 3 or 4 different soil conditioners. 3 different clay’s A couple different tarps. All kinds of equipment and materials. We could’ve had a trade show!!! The photo above says it all, great crew and staff. Our guys Eric, chad and Joe were amazing as usual but the Competition team and overlay team made it work. Thanks to Bob O. for the vision and congrats to Canada on winning the Gold medal!
All in all a successful event…eh!
In 2007 I had the honor of meeting Retired Colonel Joe Bevilacqua Superintendent of the American cemetery in Nettuno Italy. In addition to his position at the cemetery he and has also helped us with the field preperations over the past few weeks with equipment and resources . During our conversations he wondered if the USA baseball team may have some time to come over to the cemetery to see the site. One thing lead to another and it worked out that Team USA could be there a few minutes before BP of the Netherlands game.
The Cemetary is as humbling as Arlington Cemetary with over 8000 Americans laying rest from the Anzio beach invasion of the allied forces during WWII. The 77 acre site is American property. The players were obviously moved by Colonel Joe’s presentation of the invasion and the cemetary facts. Joe has a crew of over 16 guys that maintain the grounds which were breath taking.
Not only was there a memorial but also a chapel where over 3000 soldiers considered missing in action have their names etched into the Roman traventine marble. Inscribed in bold letters in the chapel. ” IN PROUD REMEMBERANCE OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HER SONS AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEIR SACRIFICES THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” On several unknown cemetary markers the inscription reads..HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY A COMRADE IN ARMS KNOWN BUT TO GOD”
A couple of the players were talking and I over heard one say, ” had the guys laying here not given the ultimate sacrfice we may not have been here today playing this game”.
Im glad it worked out they could see the cemetery as it really puts things in perspective as to why we are playing these games. Many Many thanks to our armed forces for keeping us safe. God Bless All of our military and those that have fallen for our freedom. Gone but not forgotten.
Anyway …. CUBA – USA tommorow for the GOLD MEDAL Check out the poster .