Baseball Fields Prep For Upcoming Openers

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WEST MICHIGAN (March 8, 2014) — Perhaps the last thing on everyone’s mind is the start to baseball season…or perhaps it is the first thing on everyone’s mind after the long, cold, hard, endless winter. While the next few days will feature warming temperatures, it’s also giving groundskeepers at regional baseball parks the chance to kick things in to high gear.

The attached photo is from the Detroit Tigers minor league team in Toledo, Ohio called the Mudhens. They’re trying to clear out the snow and ice on the field for opening day on April 8. That said, their approach is different from most. Inflating a gigantic bubble tarp over the field with hot air that will warm the inside to around 70 degrees and melt the snow. The team is usually cutting grass in early/mid March, but we all know this winter has been quite stellar for both snowfall and Arctic air. Click here to see more pictures and get more information on this process. Photo by Andrew Weber.

When I was in Detroit visiting family this week, I noticed Comerica Park (where the Tigers play) is also gearing up for the home opener March 31. Crews were using front-end loaders and tractors to pile and load several feet of snow on the field and in the stands in to dump trucks and tractor trailers. It looked as if they were trying to move mountains, but they need to start somewhere.

And last but not least, the Whitecaps had an immediate rough start to their season when fire ripped through and ravaged the entire first base structure in January. Construction crews have progressed swiftly in rebuilding the facility and have already rebuilt more than halfway down the base line. Fifth Third Ballpark officials have said from day one that the park will be ready for the start of baseball season and their home opener on April 8. Click here to see their website and view the live rebuild camera!

All this great news, plus warmer temperatures, plus the time change occurs THIS weekend. That means we’ll lose an hour sleep as the clock moves ahead, but we’ll gain daylight in the evening as sunset doesn’t occur until 7:41 PM on Sunday. Enjoy…it only gets better from here. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.

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