Renovations for East Hampton Varsity Baseball Field To Be Completely Fundraised - 27 East

Renovations for East Hampton Varsity Baseball Field To Be Completely Fundraised

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A view from behind home plate at the grandstand at Sayville's varsity baseball field.

A view from behind home plate at the grandstand at Sayville's varsity baseball field.

A grandstand very similar to the one here in Sayville is looking to be had in East Hampton.

A grandstand very similar to the one here in Sayville is looking to be had in East Hampton.

Tension netting, similar to that at the Stephen Hands Path Recreational Facility, would also be installed.

Tension netting, similar to that at the Stephen Hands Path Recreational Facility, would also be installed.

Drew Budd on Oct 25, 2023

Tim Garneau looked at East Hampton’s varsity baseball field this past spring, and while it has come a long way, he didn’t find it up to par with even some of the other fields around town.

Garneau, a former East Hampton Little League coach and longtime advocate of the league who chaired the Town of East Hampton Little League Ball Field Relocation Committee last winter to help create the new fields at Stephens Hand Path, said he’d like to bring a lot of what they did there to the varsity field. That would include the tension netting that sits 25-feet high and runs behind home plate and along the dugouts, which would also get renovated during the process.

But what Garneau would really like to see is brand new, stadium-like seating behind home plate. Currently, the ground behind home plate is uneven and basically prevents spectators wanting to take in a ball game from watching the game from there. They have to go out along the first and third base lines, where they have to look through chain-link fences. What Garneau is proposing is basically identical to what the Sayville varsity baseball team has at its field.

Garneau, backed by a committee, brought the idea up at a recent school board meeting, which he said was received very well. But instead of the school putting out a bond to borrow the money to pay for the project, they will raise the funds from private donors instead, which could hasten the timeline.

In what is expected to be the first of a few fundraising events, the “Bonac Baseball Bash,” benefiting the new varsity baseball grandstand and dugout renovation, will be held on Thursday, November 2, at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett. Doors will be open at 7 p.m., and the Josh Brussell Band will play from 7:30 to 9 p.m. A $20 donation is suggested at the door.

East Hampton varsity baseball head coach Vinny Alversa is obviously on board with any project that includes the improvement of his field. He said that at the end of the day, the kids certainly deserve it. The varsity program has seen marked improvement the past few seasons, but the major advancement has been at the youth levels, where local travel teams have brought back championship trophies from tournaments up the island.

“Without a doubt, they’re playing and getting better every day. And a good handful of coaches have been players of mine, or now former players. Hunter Eberhart coached the 9U team that won a championship. Then, as he went off to school, Asa Gosman and Ben Gregor took over,” he explained. “Jack Dickinson had the 11U team and they had some success before Scott Abran took over for them in the fall as well.

“As a parent, I have to say, it is pretty hard visually for a lot of people to watch the game from our field,” Alversa added. “You add some of that tension netting, take down that fence and now you have a more visible field for people to see. And it’s pretty exciting and would be nice to have some sort of grandstand. If what they planned out, if we can do it, it would amazing.”

Garneau has some other ideas up his sleeve, such as “lifetime seating,” where donors could get their names on seats and the thought is that it’ll be there for a lifetime. There are also different donor levels and Garneau was also thinking of an engraved brick walkway.

“To go from such a great Little League experience then you get up to the high school, it’s just not the same,” he said. “Grandstand seating promotes community. I was sitting at the Bonac baseball playoff game at Sayville this past spring, and about 12 girls lacrosse players came in and sat down and everyone was integrating with each other, and we could really use that here.”

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