Eckville Slo Pitch asks Council for additional diamonds

The league is looking to expand and can’t do so with its current two diamond, one night arrangement

The Eckville Slo Pitch League is looking for additional ball diamonds in Eckville.

In a delegation to Council at the regular meeting on Aug. 19, Allen Hallgren made the proposition on behalf of his newly formed league.

The league’s inaugural season saw a full roster with all eight teams being out of Eckville.

LEARN MORE: Slo-pitch is coming back to Eckville

The season wrapped up with a tournament Aug. 16-17.

“We’ve got roughly 100 people every Tuesday night coming out and supporting the town… and if more people are wanting to play I would like to be able to accommodate them,” said Hallgren.

He explained there is a “strong possibility for expansion,” but it would be impossible to do with one night a week and two diamonds.

The Eckville Slo Pitch League was given Tuesday nights by the minor ball association free of charge. The league worked closely with minor ball throughout the season.

“I don’t know what kind of options may be available to us as far as building more diamonds, if there’s any land available, if there’s any funds available,” asked Hallgren, adding the existing diamonds of issues of their own.

The outfield of the diamond next to the arena is rough because of dew worms and the east diamond’s infield is very soft. Both of these issues pose safety concerns to the athletes using them.

As an effort the league purchased batting mats to put down to help stop the area around home plate from getting pounded out.

Hallgren said he is open to suggestions as to how to make more diamonds work, and is willing to help find a solution for the existing diamonds.

Council said they would like to see specific statistics on the percentage of players in the league who are Eckville locals as reference if they decide to move forward with more diamonds.

The estimate Hallgren gave during his delegation was 95 per cent, adding it is “rare” for someone to be from out of town.

“I don’t expect to leave here tonight having a bunch of answers, I just want to get this rolling,” said Hallgren.

Council motioned to further discuss a potential new ball diamond during 2020 budget discussions and to begin the search for possible locations.

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