Volunteers who successfully restored The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach are looking to take things to the next level, with some improvements and changes slated for 2013.
You’ll recall the ballpark as being home to the Maine Guides (Class AAA; International League), then falling into disrepair after the team’s departure. Left for dead by local authorities and damaged by a fire, the ballpark was painstakingly restored by local volunteers, with the result baseball returning to the area in the form of the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide (summer collegiate; Futures League).
With the Raging Tide a success, volunteers are now moving to the next issue: how to keep the momentum going. From the Sun-Chronicle:
“It’s been a volunteer operation,” [Robert] Rings said. “We have a lot of people who have a passion and work because they had a vision of what The Ballpark could be like, and now they’ve seen it, which is reinforcing. They do it for the passion and the love of The Ballpark, and it’s amazing what people have done. They want to help maintain this beautiful structure.”
However, while the Tide and The Ballpark are in an improved situation from a year ago, there is still plenty of work to be done on a stadium that has now endured almost 30 years of harsh Maine weather. The field itself has held up well with the busy summer schedule, but the stadium’s physical infrastructure still needs plenty of work.
Rings listed the stadium’s lighting as the most major concern, along with the need to seal some of the cement in the stadium supports, the need to upgrade the concession stand and clubhouse and the necessity to improve the park’s handicap accessibility.
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