Baseball fans will enjoy many new amenities this coming spring and summer at Rupert Field in Minneapolis.
Thanks to a grant from the Ottawa County Community Foundation as well as help from many members in the Minneapolis community, turned Rupert Field in to a “Field of Dreams” for area baseball players with a massive renovation over the past few months.
Becky Myers with the Ottawa County Community Foundation tells KSAL News that the Minneapolis Recreation Commission and USD 239-North Ottawa County Schools received over $28,000 in grant money from the foundation’s Dane G. Hansen Community Grant Fund to help in the field improvements.
Area residents, Lyle Davidson and Jamie Rice both spearheaded the project. Davidson says that the major updates to Rupert Field include:
- New light bulbs in all 52 light fixtures and cleaned lenses in the fixtures surrounding the field
- New scoreboard–including a pitch count meter for both teams’ pitchers
- Added press box/score keeper’s room
- Added sound system
- A new 45-degree angle backstop extension to keep foul balls from flying too far away from the field
- A complete lighting re-grid of the playing field
Davidson also pointed out that many members and businesses in the area also helped make the field improvements possible.
“We had over 20 people in the community help donate their time, equipment and labor to work on the renovation,” Davidson said. “Of those who helped, they include student-athletes, coaches, school administrators, city commissioners, the County Fair Board and many more to make this a reality. Of course, OCCF played a major role in the renovations as well.”
While the Minneapolis High School baseball team will utilize the field the most, other members around the community will be able to utilize the field with its improvements including legion and travel baseball teams, local tournaments (coach pitch/machine pitch) and practices for area teams on top of competition.
Due to difficult weather, the improvements to the field are not yet complete. However, Davidson says the project should be finished by Minneapolis High School’s first baseball game on March 26 against Sacred Heart.