Free, Letters, Opinion

Letter: Kudos to Homewood ballfield groundskeepers

Dear Editor,

I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt appreciation for the amazing ground crew and all the dedicated volunteers at Homewood Baseball and Softball. As a Juniors level softball coach and 12U travel coach, seeing other parks serves as a constant reminder of how fortunate we are to have such nice and well-maintained fields and facilities right here in our neighborhood. Our players on our teams (ages 11-13) have all commented this year on the fields that aren’t as “nice” as “home” or can often not accommodate weather concerns as well as HSBL’s.

I’ve seen countless fields during my travels, and I can confidently say that the facilities we have here are second to none in the South Suburbs. These fields are not just beautiful, but they are also equipped with all the necessary needs and capabilities to make our teams’ experiences truly exceptional.

I myself have often gotten caught up in the idea that “the grass is always greener on the other side,” especially with the ebb and flow of a softball season and the expected frustrations that occur. However, I want to pause and appreciate the tremendous effort that goes into maintaining these fields. I know firsthand that it is a labor of love, and the commitment and hard work put in by the ground crew and volunteers do not go unnoticed. We have well-equipped fields that meet the proper needs of our players and are playable in most conditions.

When we host other teams for travel games or our Juniors team that often plays games in neighboring suburbs, we are consistently met with compliments on how fantastic our facilities are and how hard it must be to keep them well-kept. It’s not something we should take for granted, but rather something we should cherish and celebrate. Not everyone is as fortunate as us, and many teams struggle to find adequate supplies or play on fields that are less than ideal simply because they are softball teams.

Moreover, I cannot emphasize enough how much these fields mean to our children. For my own child, these fields have become her happy place, a sanctuary where friendships are forged, games are won and lost, and memories are made. She often is requesting to go to see other league games and simply enjoy the place she loves so much. The fields at Homewood Baseball and Softball are not just places to play; they are the backdrop for our children’s dreams, where they cultivate a love for sports and create memories that will endure a lifetime.

If you are an HBSL ground crew or any volunteer for the league, thank you for your unwavering commitment and the extraordinary fields you provide. Your dedication and efforts contribute to the vibrant spirit of our community, making it a place where softball and baseball thrive. We have run into other parents and coaches that remember their time in our leagues fondly as I hope these girls do one day. 

Volunteers are often underappreciated- if your family has benefitted from the hard work of all the volunteers in the league. make sure to drop a note, and recognize the hard work, time and resources invested in Homewood Baseball and Softball. Together, we can show our gratitude and support to those who make our local fields shine. Homewood has something truly special, and it’s all thanks to the remarkable individuals behind the scenes.

Hope Zawaski
Homewood Heat and Atomic Fireballs Coach, 2023

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