Blue Wahoos Renovate Field At Bradberry Park In Walnut Hill

August 12, 2019

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos renovated a youth baseball field at Bradberry Park in Walnut Hill

“I would say we have done pretty well, considering everything,” said Dustin Hannah, the Blue Wahoos head groundskeeper, who led an effort of a dozen co-workers of men and women, all of whom novices in baseball field repair.

Hannah’s direction, his patience, helped make the group effort so much easier.

Since the Blue Wahoos’ inaugural 2012 season, the team has made it a community service priority to each year help renovate a youth baseball field within the Escambia or Santa Rosa County area.

The day is chosen during a break in the home schedule. The field is chosen through nomination of youth baseball organizations providing a video, or photos of why a particular field needs help. The process is vetted through an on-site visit before a venue is chosen.

“It’s all part of us giving back to our community,” said Donna Kirby, the Blue Wahoos vice president of operations. “The first year (2012) we did a field in Pensacola near downtown and we’ve then gone throughout the area. Last year, we did a field in Century.

“In a way, it’s kind of our payback to the sport. These are little kids now who are playing baseball on these fields. And who knows if they will grow up continuing to play baseball, and there’s always that chance one of them can become a professional player and maybe play in Blue Wahoos Stadium.”

The field upgraded is used by the Cal Ripken-Babe Youth Baseball league, which has kids from Walnut Hill and nearby Bratt playing in various age groups.

“Any type of help for non-profits like ours is welcomed, especially with ballfields,” said Bonnie Maughon, board member with the league, whose son, Walker is a Tee-Ball player. “The income you get to run the games is all that you have. Any extra help you receive is a real blessing.”

The Blue Wahoos staff, which included Kirby and team president Jonathan Griffith all pitched in to help during two different work shifts.

“It’s just a big group effort to at least get it to where we’re at right now,” said Anna Striano, the Blue Wahoos merchandise manager who coordinated the community service project, during a lunch break. “And you want to leave it better than you found it.”

Hannah transported a small trailer with hand tools and power tools he uses on Admiral Fetterman Field at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

“We had a lot of grass to take out in the infield area, but I think we’re good,” he said. “These (youth league) fields, it’s not as in-depth work than it would be on a professional field.”

Maughon said she was scrolling Facebook when she saw the Blue Wahoos notice reaching out to youth leagues for nominations on field renovation. Striano started the process in June, then chose Bradberry Park in late July.

“I was really looking for ways to get help,” Maughon said. “We’re very thankful to be chosen. It’s very special. The fields are maintained by volunteers and it’s not easy.

“This year our president said we have enough kids for three T-Ball teams, but we needed one more volunteer coach to do it. And my husband stepped up.”

Hannah will follow up with the league’s director with tips on how to maintain the fields. It’s been done each year with various other fields the Blue Wahoos have helped to renovate.

It’s part of the team’s mission statement to improve the quality of life in Pensacola and the surrounding area. The field renovation was another way to help make that happen.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

2 Responses to “Blue Wahoos Renovate Field At Bradberry Park In Walnut Hill”

  1. Richard Chancery on August 12th, 2019 10:27 am

    Thank you for helping the communities out. The field looks good, Blue Wahoos are a class act giving back to all surrounding communities.

  2. Jackie Johnson on August 12th, 2019 9:07 am

    Thank you Blue Wahoos for choosing Bradberry Park in Walnut Hill to renovate this year. We are grateful to each and everyone who participated with this project.





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