With a set of fresh-painted baselines leading to home plate, Quad-Cities River Bandits groundskeeper Andrew Marking put the finishing touches on a refurbished youth baseball diamond Monday.
Marking joined members of the River Bandits’ staff and volunteers from TBK Bank in completing work on a project that is the start of an initiative to renovate youth baseball and softball fields in the Quad-Cities region.
A field used by the Scott County Babe Ruth League in Northwest Park in Davenport received a makeover that the two organizations hope will be the first project in a long-term partnership to upgrade youth facilities throughout the area.
Work began on the project last week, but rainy weather delayed completion of the work until Monday.
In the future, the organizations plan to seek proposals from area leagues, survey proposals and then select a winner annually to receive a diamond renovation.
“The River Bandits and TBK Bank are funding the upgrades at no cost to the league in hopes that they will do a good job with upkeep and maintaining the fields in the future for the youth players in the community,’’ Marking said.
On the diamond at Northwest Park, new pitching rubbers, mounds and home plates were installed in the bullpens, a new clay-based pitching mound was built and topped, infield grass was edged and sod was installed in the home plate and pitcher’s mound areas.
Three tons of ag lime was added on the diamond’s infield, basepaths, pitching mound and batter’s circle.
Marking was prepared to align and install new bases as well but the existing measurements between bases proved correct.
Crews also worked to remove still-dormant crabgrass from foul territory between home plate and the dugouts and leaves were cleaned away from fences that surround the diamond.
“It was a pretty good-sized project that we hope will benefit the league that plays here,’’ Marking said. “It’s a nice diamond and this will create a nice, safe place for their teams to compete.’’