SIKESTON - "If you haven't been out to the Recreation Complex lately, you should make it a point to do so," said Jeff Young, fields chairman for Sikeston Area Youth Baseball.
Several changes have been made to the Little League and Junior Babe Ruth fields, making it one of the finest baseball facilities in Southeast Missouri. The improvement project began last fall when Young met with officials from the City of Sikeston to discuss improvement plans.
"Upon approval from the city, my next step was to speak to Gabby and Kim at Green Acre Sod Farms about sodding the infield at the complex," Young said. "They agreed to donate sod for the project and assisted in laying it, along with other volunteers from the league."
Young said the grass gives the park a whole new dimension and appearance. "Green Acres Sod Farms has generously agreed to assist the league in providing additional sod to complete the project on other fields over the next few years."
He said Rainwater Irrigation has donated equipment and labor to install sprinkler systems that will assist in the overall maintenance of the fields as well as the appearance of the grass. "Having access to water was a key component to this project and the Board of Municipal Utilities has worked with the league and Rainwater in every way to see that it gets done," Young noted.
The DeWitt Company has donated mesh to affix to all the outfield fences, giving players a solid backdrop from which to see the ball as well as to give it a true "Major League" feel. Young said Meredith DeWitt was "instrumental in seeing that we had what we needed to make this work."
"I have seen baseball complexes in the Mid-South from St. Louis to Memphis and we are extremely fortunate to have this type of facility for our kids to play at," adding that he hopes Sikeston can host several district, state and regional tournaments over the next few years at the Complex, "bringing people from all over to our community to shop, eat and spend the night."
Young also recognized Mike Boese, assistant fields chairman; Bob Brown of Bob's Heating and Air Conditioning and the parents and coaches who have spent several hours working at the Complex "to see that this dream becomes reality.
"Without the generous support and dedication of many businesses and individuals, none of this would be possible."