Youth baseball and summertime go hand-in-hand. Weekend tournaments and regular league play are the highlight of the summer for many young baseball players in the Clintonville Youth League (CYL), and the league is working to help keep kids interested in baseball and improve their playing experiences at Bucholtz Park.
Local businesses have provided financial support and donated materials for many CYL projects, including the new batting cages, which have been under construction and are nearly complete. Klein Chevrolet Buick has presented the Clintonville Youth league baseball equipment, instructional clinics, and a sponsorship check in the amount of $500.
Jeff Polzin of Polzin Heating and Electric has donated the electrical supplies and labor for the storage shed that was constructed last year. The league has also obtained two electronic scoreboards that will be repainted for free by Klein Coatings, and a third is on the way.
Schutt Industries donated hundreds of dollars worth of welding, along with metal plates needed for the frame of the batting cages. They have also donated the karabiners that will hold the netting surrounding the cages.
“Keith Kuss (a Schutt Industries employee) has been unbelievably helpful,” stated CYL President Mark Doornink. “He helped line everything up and get the supplies that we needed.
“Tony Hauser, who works for Miron Construction, helped us get many of the metal beams we needed, and he headed up the construction team that has put in countless hours designing and building the cages,” said Doornink. “Bill Schoen has also been a tremendous help throughout the process, from beginning to end.”
Many other parents have volunteered their time to run concession stands throughout the season, which is a major fundraiser for the league. Any expenses incurred for various projects have been split evenly between the CYL and the Clintonville Youth Softball League.
“We’ve made a conscious effort to invest in this park,” stated Doornink. “We constructed dugouts a few years ago with the help of Mike Wespetal’s construction classes at Clintonville High School. We added the new storage shed last year, batting cages this year, and we have two electronic scoreboards ready to go, and a third one is on its way. We are hoping to get some tarps for the infields in the near future.”
Efforts from the league, parents, volunteers and local businesses have helped to make the park better during times when the city’s Park and Rec Department budget is waning.
“Because the city doesn’t have the ability to come up with the dollars for those types of projects, the Clintonville Youth League has been able to contribute many improvements,” commented Clintonville Park and Rec Director Dick Writt. “There always needs to be a balance of what’s being put up and our ability to maintain the new additions, but what the youth league has done certainly makes Bucholtz Park more attractive. They’ve done a good job, and I hope it continues.”