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Baseball Coach Seeks Donations for Field Renovations

Ralph Haney is trying to raise at least $12,000 to help fund updates to the outdated baseball field at City Park.

A Clawson baseball coach is seeking donations for a special parks improvement fund that will support a three-party plan to refurbish the infield of the baseball diamond at City Park this year.

Ralph Haney, who coaches varsity baseball at , said he is responsible for raising $12,000 for the project which will cost an estimated $32,000 in total. Clawson Schools and the city will kick in $14,000 each.

So far, Haney has raised about $3,000 through proceeds from a car show last year at the Fall Festival and a Clawson baseball camp this summer. Haney said city and school officials allocated extra money for additional costs that may arise.

The city plans to hire the construction company with the best bid to lay out new dirt and sod infield grass at the park, Haney said.

Haney said he is planning to set up a booth at the on Aug. 11 where attendees can donate $10 to the fund and receive a Clawson baseball T-shirt.

"It might take me a year, it might take me two years but I’m pretty committed to getting this done because our field is terrible," Haney said. "Something’s gotta happen there."

Haney said the field project is long overdue. League coaches in the Macomb Area Conference (MAC) voted the baseball field at City Park the worst in the Tri-Counties.

"The field is sand and it's gravel and it's terrible on any kind of windy day," Haney said. "It’s just 15 years beyond its life expectancy."

Last summer, concerns about the outdated baseball field rose when a professional baseball team owner at City Park if the city would allow his minor league team to play home games there.

David Martin of Summit Professional Baseball said he would upgrade the field, fencing, locker rooms, food and concessions area, bleachers and more. Martin eventually after dozens of residents spoke out against the idea, citing traffic and parking concerns and peace disturbance as key issues.

Haney said he expects to move quickly with hopes of starting construction by September.

Clawson Parks & Recreation Director Mickey Alderman said the city has hired Berkley-based Forsite Design to work on the architectural design for the field and assist with finding a construction company.

"By the end of August we will have a better idea of what’s going on time wise," Alderman said.

Donations for the baseball field can be sent to the Hunter Community Center, 509 Fisher Ct., Clawson, MI 48017. Make checks payable to 'Friends of the Clawson City Park.'

For more information, contact Ralph Haney at 248-613-6525.

Gerald Maliszewski - RE/MAX August 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM
A Euchre Tournament would likely draw a couple thousand dollars! I really dont know how to run one, but I would assist.
Kevin Schneider August 10, 2012 at 02:25 PM
A Euchre Tournament sounds like a great idea!
nosolution August 10, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I will definately buy T-SHIRT and it's just a shame that thoughtless people pevented upgrades from the proposed pro-baseball group.
Ken Case August 10, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Euchre tournament sounds great. Also, think about spaghetti dinner fundraiser using the city hall facilities.
canseeallsides August 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Factually speaking (sorry to contradict YOUR style nosolution), the shame was that the semipro plan was not even close enough to get consideration until it was better prepared. He was given a chance to fix his plan (he couldn't) so HE withdrew. Nothing was "prevented" by the information that was shared or the people that worked so hard. You might even be re-assured that people in Clawson are strong and passionate. Actually, you are most welcome on many levels for their work. In addition, it was later found out that $500,000 in Clawson taxes would have been committed but was kept from the public.
canseeallsides August 10, 2012 at 11:45 PM
How about a city softball game or tournament? Have a marquee game at the end like FIRE vs POLICE or other interested fun rival that's willing.
canseeallsides August 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM
This may not help solicit donations but I can't help notice and comment. The grass looks beautiful and amazing there and you're going to rip it out (is it an old picture)? Can't they just turn the dirt on the infield, add a new top layer and commit to raking? What quality level are we trying to achieve here, it's obviously more than just safety?

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