The crack of a bat. The soft thud of a ball as it glides into a leather glove. The scraping of earth as a player slides into second base. The sounds of baseball season are starting to fill the air.
To make it safer for local children playing in South Woolwich Minor Baseball, the Optimist Club of St. Jacobs recently purchased four new permanent magnetic bases that will replace the older, moveable counterparts at the Riverside Meadows diamond in St. Jacobs.
The new magnetic bases have a component that is buried in the ground and which uses a strong magnet to keep the above surface base intact.
It’s all about making the process safer for children, said Heather Minor, treasurer for the Optimist Club of St. Jacobs.
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“They’re actually safer for the kids because they don’t have those spikes that go into the ground,” said Minor, noting that with constant wear and tear, the “spikes” can become exposed, posing a hazard.
“These have magnets that are buried in the ground and then the bag just stays in place – much, much safer for the kids.”
Woolwich Township grounds crews spent the morning of May 26 installing the new bases, which cost in the neighbourhood of $700.
For members of South Woolwich Minor Baseball, the recent development came as a boon.
“When the Optimist Club decided, ‘OK, let’s help them out, I had a big grin on my face because we could have paid ourselves but then we’d be short money for buying equipment or whatever,” said organization president Pete Moore, noting that the St. Jacobs diamond is used at least four times a week by a total of 180 players enrolled in the local baseball association.
As for the local service club, Minor noted that the project fit well with the organization’s philosophy.
“The money that we’re putting out for the bases hits a lot of the kids in the area.”