Horsham Township Ball Fields

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sixofdiamonds
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Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:18 am

The fields at Lukens Park are owned and operated by Horsham Township. The same holds true for Cedar Hill. Softball America leases those fields. We can prep the fields, but we cannot do any kind of major work on the fields. I have known about the loose bases, grass/weeds in the infield, and batter's boxes for some time now. I have made the township aware of it on numerous occasions, all to no avail. Read the most recent township response below and maybe you'll get off my back about how much I don't give a damn. :(
From: Ian Hammer [mailto:ihammer@horsham.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 7:40 AM
To: Softball America
Cc:
Subject: Re: Updates

Good morning,

Yes we are aware of this issue and we are trying to get there to fix the problems. I don’t want to sound like a complainer but we have numerous big projects on our plate that all have deadlines of “yesterday”. I am hoping to have some guys come up this week to address the issues. We are knee deep in our paving project for this year and that ties up most of the department. I have noted all of the concerns and will get to them as soon as possible.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hammer
Assistant Director of Public Works
Horsham Township
1005 Horsham Rd.
Horsham, PA 19044
O: 215-672-6913
F: 215-672-0849
ihammer@horsham.org
www.horsham.org
In Horsham Township's defense, they lost their head of Parks and Rec at the beginning of this year so their back was to the wall from the get go. Factor in 3 nor'easters in March and nothing but rain since, and maybe you'll have a better understanding of what's going on.

All I can say if you are not happy with the fields, either contact Horsham Township about it or don't play. But, to rip into me for something I have no control of is wrong on so many levels. I can't begin to tell you how much I hate it when people shoot first and ask questions later.

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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:42 am

Here's another response from late May...
On May 24, 2018, Ian Hammer <ihammer@horsham.org> wrote:

Good morning Les,

I got your email from Mark Hudson in regards to the Cedar Hill Softball field. I took a walk around the field today. I could not locate where you saw the liner sticking through. I do agree however that the field needs some work and thats what I am here for. I will get some more mix over there and spread around as well as have the guys spray the weeds. If you want to meet me some time at Cedar Hill, I would be more than glad to discuss any concerns you are having with the facilities. My goal is to make your experience the best it can be and we will do what we can to achieve that. Look forward to discussing more with you.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hammer
Assistant Director of Public Works
Horsham Township
1005 Horsham Rd.
Horsham, PA 19044
O: 215-672-6913
F: 215-672-0849
ihammer@horsham.org
www.horsham.org

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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:46 am

Here's a response to a league member whose email I forwarded to the township...
John,

Thank you for reaching out. I will look into the two mentioned issues. Not sure if you were aware but I was recently hired on May 1st to take over the largest park and trail system in Montgomery County. Growing up playing baseball, I took pride in how our fields always looked. Coming to Horsham, I want to have that same impact on these playing fields. I am in contact with the Little League organization and we are trying to schedule a time to rent a sod cutter and reshape all of the fields in Horsham. Until then, I have guys out as we speak weed spraying the grass and weeds in the infield mix and along fence lines by the team benches. Hoping to enhance the presentation of these diamonds. I will have someone bring up some infield mix to spread along the batters boxes and around the bases which tend to wash out from sliding. I will also look into a better way to secure these bases to prevent any injury. As you mentioned, I was also very competitive when playing. That being said, I am in total agreement that we would hate to see someone get hurt, simply because they were just trying to win. I have noted these issues and we will get to them as soon as possible. I hope you have a wonderful day and good luck in all your competition.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hammer
Assistant Director of Public Works
Horsham Township
1005 Horsham Rd.
Horsham, PA 19044
O: 215-672-6913
F: 215-672-0849
ihammer@horsham.org
www.horsham.org

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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:09 pm

I was informed a while back that the Stover bases were not in good shape. Within a week I purchased new bases and personally delivered them to the field. It was then brought to my attention home plate had a tear in it and could pose a danger to players sliding home. I contacted Telford Borough and it was replaced. Last Friday, a serious gully had formed at the fence along the 3rd base line. I contacted Telford Borough immediately (read email exchange below).

I never had to justify myself to league members, but it seems I need to now. Not sure why. Maybe the new generation? I don't know, but it is what it is.
Wow! Thanks again for bringing this to our attention, Les!!

Megan

From: Softball America
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2018 7:49 AM
To: 'Megan McShane' <megmcshane<at>comcast.net>
Subject: RE: Stover Field Concern

Thanks, Megan,

I think it just happened. I’ve never seen rain like the rain we have been getting this year. I attached a picture for you.

Les


From: Megan McShane [mailto:megmcshane<at>comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2018 7:44 AM
To: 'Softball America'
Subject: Stover Field Concern

Hi Les,

You are the first to bring this to our attention. I will let our guys know!

Thank you!

Megan

From: Softball America
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2018 6:43 AM
To: 'Megan McShane' <megmcshane<at>comcast.net>
Subject: RE: 2018 Telford Borough Field Use

Hi Megan,

I don’t know if anyone has brought it to the attention of the Borough, but a big gully has formed along the fence on the 3rd base side of the field. It could pose a safety hazard to ball players. I have never seen so much rain in my life.

Thanks,
Les
As far as the Quarry is concerned, I now hear there was constant bitching about the turf batter's box losing its integrity. Not one person brought it to my attention until a little more than a month ago when Brian Penecale called me over and said, "Les, we need to do something about the batter's box". I immediately got the ball rolling. Unfortunately, projects like this take time to coordinate. Ordering the turf and glue, getting a machine, an operator, and workers all take time. It doesn't happen overnight. Additionally, jobs like this need to be done on a Saturday. Think about the whining that would come about if we closed the field to do the work on a weekday. A new batter's box was installed almost 2 weeks ago. The drainage issue on the 1st and 3rd base lines was also addressed.

A number of Quarry light bulbs need replacing. I can't get a machine on the grass until it dries out. Once again, the job consists of a lot of moving parts and has to be done on a Saturday. We haven't had many Saturdays without rain. The job is slated to be done on Saturday, August 4th, weather permitting.

The infield will be resurfaced with almost 75 tons of infield mix at some point between August 12th and the Marsh 1-Pitch tournament.

It may look like nothing is being done, but things are rarely what they appear to be. Maybe next time the toxic minority of malcontents can use their mouths for other than spreading ill will toward me and the league. Maybe they can come to me at the field or via email and inquire about what is happening about things they are concerned about. I am not a mind reader nor do I have a crystal ball. If you see something amiss, let me know about it instead of bad mouthing me about something I'm not even aware of. The squeakiest wheel gets the oil if and only if the squeak can be heard.

So the next time you see an issue, be a man about it and let me know in a civilized manner and I'll address it, instead of complaining anonymously like this immature low life...
You're a cheap ass that needs to take care of the fields and league with real management and officiating. Overpriced handjobs!
And before you get on your soapbox and preach to anyone that will listen about how I am this and I am that, be a man, grow a pair, pick up your big boy panties and talk to me first.

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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:41 pm

While I'm at it, allow me to address the umpire situation.

A league umpire was completely out of line recently. The issue was addressed and the umpire was suspended.

One of the finest umpires I've seen in a while was working Thursday evenings. He usually works baseball, but couldn't get to those games early enough due to his work schedule. Very professional. Loves the game. He enjoys umpiring so he decided to do Thursday Men's. Personally, I thought he would be a perfect fit. That is, if the Thursday league would have enough patience to adapt to the umpire while the umpire learned to adapt to the league. That was not going to happen. Unfortunately, a handful of league members made his job so distasteful he decided to step down. He told me he didn't need the money and he certainly didn't need the aggravation. I can't say I blame him.

Old story: Be careful what you wish for. It just might come true.

Have an issue with an umpire? The same holds true here as it does with field maintenance. Reach out to me and give me a chance to rectify it instead of throwing a temper tantrum like a 2-year old. I can't fix something if I don't know it's broken. And, if it ain't broken, don't fix it.

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:05 pm

If I live to be 100 I will never understand the aforementioned mentality.

I brought my car to the dealer for an oil change, tire rotation and inspection last week. I got the car back and the inspection stickers were applied to my windshield really crooked. I have to look at that every time I get behind the wheel and it bothered me. I know. That's kind of anal. Truth is I wasn't going to bring it back for that. And I wasn't going to stop anyone and everyone I came in contact with about how I was hosed. I let it go.

When the tires were rotated, the service tech noticed a nail in the right rear tire. They pulled it and patched it and charged me for it. When I took the car on the highway, it felt like there was a jackhammer going off in my trunk. The tire that was worked on was never balanced. I could have gotten on my soapbox and preached ill will toward the dealership. I didn't. I called the dealer and told them my situation. They were very apologetic and had me bring it in ASAP. They not only balanced the tire they worked on, but they did all of them - all at no cost. And they fixed my inspection stickers.

Nobody is perfect. I'll admit I'm far from it. But, I will right a wrong whenever and wherever I can.

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sixofdiamonds
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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:06 pm

That's enough. I'm done. My fingers hurt.

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blouderback
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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by blouderback » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:13 pm

No worries, Les. 99.9% of us think you're doing a great job. You can't please everyone all the time.

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:38 am

In keeping with what I have come to feel is the need to justify my every past, present, and future moves, all but 1 light fixture is now working at the Quarry. We just could not get the lift there. We tried, but the ground was too soft. Mother Nature was uncooperative as she has been all year.

The Quarry infield, warning track, and center field gate are slated to be resurfaced/repaired in the weeks ahead, weather permitting. Other areas of fencing will be addressed as well. The 1st base side Leaning Tower of Player's Bench will be repaired. I am looking into the possibility of player's bench roofs. Not a dugout, but some sort of bench cover for rain and shine. Permission is needed form the Eureka Quarry and it must be cost effective. The snack bar bench will also be repaired.

What a lot of people fail to understand is the amount of devastation the excessive moisture during the first 7 months of this year has had on all ball fields. Pittsburgh broke an 80-year-old record for rainfall and the year is far from over. I don't know how that equates to our area, but we have certainly had a lot of rain. The resultant shifting, heaving, and rotting of things has played havoc everywhere. The turf batter's box lasted 6 years from when we first installed it. We resurfaced it in 2016. Because of the excessive moisture, it lasted a year and a half. Weed and grass growth over the past few weeks is as if they are on steroids. All of this will be addressed in due time. All I ask for is a little patience.

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:35 am

Good morning gentleman,

Today is National Night Out in Horsham. We have a list for all of the guys to get done. If they get everything done, they will be heading to Cedar Hill to locate the anchors for 2nd and 3rd base as well as bringing scoops of infield mix up to fill in the low spots. Thank you for your patience on these issues.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hammer
Assistant Director of Public Works
Horsham Township
1005 Horsham Rd.
Horsham, PA 19044
O: 215-672-6913
F: 215-672-0849
ihammer@horsham.org
www.horsham.org

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by wdshipe » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:57 am

Les -
While I'm sorry that you may be posting this based on the need to justify your moves, I do appreciate the detailed updates on the behind-the-scenes work slated for the Quarry (and other fields). Thank you for devoting your time and energy to all of these improvements!

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:37 am

Following up from my email this morning. They took a load of infield mix up to Cedar Hill and were able to located the anchor for 2nd and 3rd base. They are going to install bases on the field so that the hole do not fill in. I am looking into getting plugs to put in the holes for when the bases are not installed to keep dirt and water out. Hopefully this helps make your experience in the park more enjoyable. I also met with a gentleman today from a company that reshapes fields. He is going to give me a quote to sod cut the ball fields in the township to make them look and play much better. Thanks again for your patience on these issues.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hammer
Assistant Director of Public Works
Horsham Township
1005 Horsham Rd.
Horsham, PA 19044
O: 215-672-6913
F: 215-672-0849
ihammer@horsham.org
www.horsham.org

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:37 am

I am not sure if we have a new home plate in the back of the shop or not. If not, I will look into getting a new one.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hammer
Assistant Director of Public Works
Horsham Township
1005 Horsham Rd.
Horsham, PA 19044
O: 215-672-6913
F: 215-672-0849
ihammer@horsham.org
www.horsham.org

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by jstepo32 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:50 pm

This is awesome news...hopefully they used some of that infield mix on the batters box for right handed hitters. Joe is gonna be sad that he doesn't have to ask base runners to move the bases to the correct spots anymore haha

Thanks Les!

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:00 am

While the batter's box appears to have been filled, the weeds are still there. I cannot speak for the loose bases. I have done all I can to light a fire under them. Maybe if more league members send emails directly to the township, they will move a little quicker.

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:03 am

On Aug 22, 2018, at 8:54 AM, Softball America wrote:

Hi Ian,

League members have informed me there is a big issue with wasps at Lukens 3. It seems the player benches and backstop are loaded with wasp nests and players are getting stung like crazy. Can you be so kind as have someone from maintenance take care of it as soon as humanly possible?

Thank you
Les,

It seems like the wasps have come out with vengeance this year. We are chasing them all over. I will see if we can make it up today, if not tomorrow morning. The best time is early morning to make sure we get as many as we can. I will make note of the issue.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hammer
Assistant Director of Public Works
Horsham Township
1005 Horsham Rd.
Horsham, PA 19044
O: 215-672-6913
F: 215-672-0849
ihammer@horsham.org
www.horsham.org

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:16 pm

Almost 50 tons of infield mix is being delivered to the Quarry ball field this Saturday at 7:00 am. If you want to come and hang out, push a rake around, BS, or just watch Timmy O'Shea perform magic with a 5-ton track skidsteer, you are more than welcome. If you are coming out to help, no need to get there until around 9:00 am.

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:21 pm

An approximate 4" layer (70 tons) of custom infield mix has been spread atop the Quarry infield. It's now smooth as a baby's bottom. The parking lot has been repaired in numerous places and the1st base player's bench has been straightened a bit. Some fencing repairs were made today. More to follow.

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:15 am

A big 'thank you' to Tim O'Shea, Brian Penecale, Chris Hackney, and Jeff Bush for their hard work at the ball field yesterday.

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Re: Horsham Township Ball Fields

Post by sixofdiamonds » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:00 pm

All I can do at this point is apologize to those that play at Cedar Hill. I am doing everything in my power to get the infield situation remedied. I will be speaking with Mark Hudson, Director of Administration at Horsham Township this week. Hopefully, he will be able to make something happen over there. They have 2 weeks to get the fields playable. There is no excuse for this.

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