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GHS baseball players, parents renovate field

“If you build it, they will come,” says Shoeless Joe in the 1989 film “Field of Dreams,” stressing the importance of place and transformation in baseball and, by extension, in life.

The field figures heavily in the mythology of baseball, symbolism crucial to building the morale and history of a team and the community surrounding it.

But beyond that, a well-maintained field is crucial for practical reasons.

Sweeping and raking the pitcher’s mound and the infield, cleaning debris from the field, pulling weeds- maintenance of a baseball field requires a great deal of care and forethought, and is crucial to safety and maximizing the potential of a team.

GHS baseball coach David Bush recognized this and, before anyone donned a glove or held a bat this season, led his team to Beeland Park to bring the field up to standard.

The improvement was a true team effort, consisting mainly of GHS baseball players and parents using free afternoons to mow, rake, and lay sod.

The infield was plagued by “lips”- protrusions caused when grass grows larger than the infield in places where the two meet, which can lead to drainage problems and tripping hazards.

Bush credited the city of Greenville with actively participating in the improvement, saying “the city came in… they cut out all the lips, and [provided] all the green you see,” referencing the fresh sod lining the infield.  “I had a few parents and my kids, we came out here and laid every bit of this sod by ourselves,” said Bush, adding that it took around two days total. “Everybody had a shovel or a rake, I thought it was good for us.”

The field improvement is one part of a larger effort to reinvigorate the Greenville High School baseball program.

“We went out and got brand new uniforms for varsity, new pants… all the little stuff, has things rolling in the right direction,” said Bush. “I’m excited, the kids are excited, things look good, and we’ll play hard every day… We want to make [GHS baseball] a big deal again, the kids deserve that.”

The varsity GHS baseball season kicks off with the Butler County area tournament on Saturday, Feb. 24.