CRYSTAL LAKE – Some of the youngest members of the Crystal Lake Little League now have a baseball field to call their own.
The Crystal Lake Little League recently finished up improvements to the Lundahl Middle School baseball field, including resodding the outfield, converting the infield to dirt from grass, installing permanent bases and a pitcher's mound and clearing the dugouts of weeds, said Mark Mckim, the league's president.
The project was funded by the league using sign-ups fees, and while the school can use the field, the league is responsible for its maintenance, he said.
The league used this field years ago, at least eight or more, Mckim said, adding that the field had eroded away and been covered with weeds since that time.
The field will mainly be used by players who are 4 to 6 years old, allowing players to transition from the recently grassed over infield at West Elementary School to the new dirt infield at Lundahl as they move up in the program, Mckim said.
The grass field at West is mostly used by the very youngest players, 4 year olds, because it's easier for them to play on, they're less likely to get injured and the grass slows the ball down, he said.
"We are trying to build the league from the younger players up and make certain that the younger players and their parents feel just as important to the league as the parents and players that have been in the league for many years," Mckim said.
The league also uses fields at Lippold Park, Main Beach and Crystal Lake Central High School, and the addition of the Lundahl field eases up the scheduling pressure on those fields, especially at Lippold Park where space can be tight when games get rained out, he said.