Sequoia Union High School District (CA) announced that the baseball field at Sequoia High School has been selected as the site of a major field renovation on Jan. 19 as part of the events surrounding the 2009 Major League Baseball (MLB) Groundskeepers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Jan. 17-19.
The selection of Sequoia High School – a public high school originally founded in 1895 – was based on student demographics, field condition and potential of maintaining field preservation.
Renovation of the Sequoia field on Jan. 19 will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude before the dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. PST at Sequoia High School, 1201 Brewster Ave., Redwood City. (The baseball field is located at the southwest corner of the campus, along Elwood Street.)
Participating in the dedication ceremony will be Luke Yoder, head groundskeeper for the San Diego Padres and spokesperson for the MLB groundskeepers; Cathy Bradley, BTF executive director; and officials of the Sequoia district and high school.
Special guests will include Irwin Haydock, member of the Sequoia High School Baseball Hall of Fame and graduate of the Class of 1956, and Ted Mitchell, member of the Sequoia High School Baseball Hall of Fame (and Basketball Hall of Fame) and graduate of the Class of 1979. Larry DiVito, head groundskeeper for the Washington Nationals and Sequoia High School alumnus, will also participate in the conference and field day event.
Renovation of the baseball field is being funded by a $40,000 grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) and through equipment, material and labor donations from the MLB groundskeepers, the Toro Company, Turface Athletics, Covermaster, Inc, Colony Landscaping, Barkshire Laser Leveling and West Coast Turf.
Starting last fall and culminating with a full day’s work by the MLB groundskeepers on Jan. 19, the field improvement has involved demolition, laser grading, sodding, irrigation system repair and replacement, installation of infield mix, construction of pitcher’s mound and home plate area, and other field grooming services.
“We are deeply grateful to the MLB groundskeepers, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and all of the sponsors that have made this renovation possible,” said Morgan Marchbanks, Sequoia High School principal. “Sequoia High School has strong baseball roots. Along with use by our own players, we make our baseball field available to our community and local little league organizations. We are very proud to be working with Major League Baseball on this field renovation, and we commend them for their dedication to making baseball accessible to everyone.”
Yoder added that “It has been an honor to be part of the Sequoia High School field refurbishment. This is by far the most extensive refurbishment we have ever done in conjunction with the annual conference, and it would not have been possible without the support of all of our partners. On behalf of the MLB groundskeepers, I would like to thank everyone involved in this project.”
Bradley echoes the sentiment. “The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is fortunate to be involved in this project with such tremendous partners. We work closely with the MLB groundskeepers, the Toro Company, Covermaster and Turface Athletics to support the growth of youth baseball and softball around the country. It is our pleasure to support this project to improve the baseball facility at Sequoia High School and to provide a quality and safe playing field for the players, who will hone their skills and enjoy the game here.”
Each year, the MLB groundskeepers convene in January to discuss industry issues and best practices. The conference, sponsored by the Toro Company, Covermaster, Inc. and Turface Athletics, includes a field day during which the groundskeepers renovate a youth field in the surrounding community.