Despite the winter temperatures, more than two dozen volunteers were out in force Saturday to prepare the three fields at Izaak Walton Preserve for the start of Homewood’s baseball season.
With rakes in hand, volunteers appeared at 8 a.m. to gather leaves and twigs in and around the fields and parking lots. Others reset the home plate area on each of the fields, and brought stone into the batting cage.
“There are no fields like this anywhere,” said John Blasgen, rookie league ball president. The fields, with lighting for evening games, are maintained exclusively by the league and parent volunteers.
Players will kick off the 2016 baseball season on April 16 with the traditional parade. Starting at 10 a.m., Homewood police will close Ridge Road from Highland to Gottschalk as the 70 teams line up at Golden Eagle Office Center, 1820 Ridge Road.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. Players march east down Ridge Road to the ball fields, 1100 Ridge Road, for an opening ceremony.
The baseball season extends to June 30. In July, selected players represent Homewood in All-Star competition.
Homewood Baseball and Softball has provided local youth with an opportunity to play ball since it was founded in 1951 as Homewood Little League.