TPRD has fields ready for Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2001

Sports Editor

Call it tradition.

The Troy Parks and Recreation Department’s 2001 Opening Day ceremony will start at 9 a.m. this Saturday, but around 11 a.m. that morning the fun really begins.

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That’s when the ball games start.

Barring any weather problems, (Saturday’s forecast is 85 degrees and partly cloudy), fans of baseball, and more importantly Troy baseball, should get a good helping of it this weekend.

According to TPRD Director Dan Smith, over 824 boys and girls have signed up to participate in baseball and softball this summer.

Not resting on their laurels, the TPRD has been busy getting ready, including keeping all the fields in top shape during the offseason.

"We’ve made lots of improvements to the fields this year," said Smith. "And will continue to do so during the offseason every year at all of our ballparks."

Smith said many of the newest additions can be seen at Troy’s Franklin Field, located directly behind Edge Regional Medical Center. Franklin Field is where the Dixie Minor, Dixie Boys and Dixie Youth play league games.

"At Franklin Field, we’ve added some infield material and on the Dixie Boy’s Field we’ve added a large, something of a backstop net in order to keep some of the baseballs inside the park," Smith said. "In previous years, a foul ball could very easily go out of that park and not get returned, especially if it goes across the street."

Smith said the grass on the field has been steadily improved upon.

"We continue to make improvements to our grass," he said. "We’ve reshaped the infields, as far as the layout of the base paths go, plus we’ve redefined the lines where the outfield meets the dirt."

Although many of the leagues will get underway this Saturday, Dixie Boys, Dixie Belles and Dixie Majors, won’t be able to get started until the local high schools conclude their respective varsity and junior varsity softball and baseball seasons.

"The high schools will wrap up around May 15th if they’re not in the playoffs," said Smith. "If kids are in the Dixie Boys then they can start playing immediately, but for Dixie majors we’ll hold tryouts sometimes after that."