Groundbreaking Marks Start of Redding Community Baseball Field
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif. - Community members, baseball enthusiasts, and members of Shasta College’s heavy equipment classes attended a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the long-awaited Redding Community Baseball Field.
The 9 a.m. event was at Simpson University, where the field will be built on the north side of campus. Simpson President Larry McKinney, Shasta College President Joe Wyse, and Roger Janis, chair of the Redding Community Baseball Field Committee, spoke to the crowd about the excitement for the project and the partnership involved.
“You are making a significant difference to the youth of our community,” Janis said.
The Redding Community Baseball Field project is a collaboration between numerous community leaders and organizations to construct a first-class regulation-sized baseball field. The field will provide area youth and collegiate teams, like the Redding Vipers and Colt .45’s, a location to practice and play ball.
The first phase of the project involves tree removal, erosion control and grading. After Old Durham Wood Co. clears trees and stumps, about 50 students from Shasta College heavy equipment classes will spend about three weeks moving dirt to low spots and packing it in to level the ground, said John Livingston, heavy equipment instructor.
“This is an exciting opportunity for my students,” he said. “It’s a real project with real deadlines.”
His students often do work in the community but not on a project of this scale, Livingston said. “This is huge for us—a real challenge,” he said.
In addition to providing a family-friendly venue for youth baseball and special events, the new field will also be home to the Simpson Red Hawks baseball team, which uses Tiger Field near downtown Redding for its practices and home games.
Red Hawks baseball Coach Travis Fortner said having a field on campus will make a big difference. Team members have to travel 15 to 20 minutes each way for evening practices, making it difficult to schedule study time.
“With a field on campus, we’ll be able to work around schedules. Students will be able to get in extra practice between classes,” he said.
McKinney noted that the grading work is just the beginning. Pieces of the dismantled Vacaville stadium remain in storage for use in future phases of the baseball field project. The field is being funded by private donations, and other phases will be completed as funding is secured.
The Redding Community Baseball Field is a Simpson University-owned community asset on 8 acres of land located on the university campus. The project is privately funded through a coalition of community partners and will be made available to local and regional baseball teams. To support the Redding Community Baseball Field project, please visit www.facebook.com/letsplayball or call 530-221-4103.
Contact: Roger Janis