Aug 212007
 
Authors: Anica Wong

A baseball team can’t play or practice without a field.

The CSU club baseball team knows this fact quite well. But by banding together, the team was able to save their field for at least one more year.

Ram Field, the baseball diamond located south of Moby Arena, was scheduled to be demolished on Aug. 6 to be converted into two multi-purpose fields to make room for a new indoor varsity practice facility.

The new indoor facility, which is still in the planning stages of development, will house a 70-yard football practice field as well as numerous basketball and volleyball courts.

Once the plans to eliminate the baseball field were announced, the outraged baseball club decided to take action.

Team members sent letters and scheduled meetings with Campus Recreation and Brian Chase, a CSU facilities director. They then put together a proposal to try to persuade those involved that they should be able to keep their field.

After about a month of deliberation from all sides, a conclusion was made that the field would stay through the current school year, being taken over by Campus Recreation no earlier than April of 2008.

Baseball club players were rewarded for their efforts, but only momentarily.

“At least they gave us a year and we’re thankful for that,” Nick Stringari said, club vice president and a junior mechanical engineer major.

After the 2007-08 season, the club team must find a new field on which to practice and play, a task not easily accomplished.

“We could not take this field and stamp it on any other field in town,” Marsha Smeltzer said, the associate director for sport programs. Smeltzer is trying to find places around Fort Collins that could become the new home for the CSU baseball club.

Some fields that might work are the Triple Crown Sports Center and Bigfoot Turf Farms Field of Dreams. Another option is for the team to piggyback with the Fort Collins Foxes, a local summer collegiate team.

The Foxes, who compete in the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League, practice and played games on Ram Field also.

The need to destroy the baseball field was created because the proposed indoor facility will occupy fields that are currently used by intramural sports.

“It became necessary to replace the intramural field,” Judy Muenchow said, the director of campus recreation.

Because of the rotation of the different intramural fields, campus recreation had to make sure there were enough fields to accommodate the growing number of students competing in intramural sports.

Although the team will be able to play on their home field for one more year, club players are still frustrated with the outcome of the whole ordeal.

“I think it’s a tragedy that they are mowing over the field that represents 50 guys that represent the university,” said Stringari.

Since its inception more than a decade ago, the club baseball team has been a model of constant success. The club saw its run of three consecutive national championships end last summer with a fifth place showing the National Club Baseball Association World Series.

Championships aside, the club will still have to find a new home come the end of next spring.

“We are disappointed because we do have a good program,” said Mike Abernathy, the club’s head coach.

Staff writer Anica Wong can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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