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Summer baseball receives grant

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Summer baseball receives grant
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Blackduck Summer Baseball is proud to announce it received a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund April 30.

Since its inception in 1999, the program has granted nearly $2.5 million to improve more than 500 ball fields.


After 30 years of countless ball games and life lessons, the complex in Blackduck is in need of major improvements. Each infield suffers a lack of drainage and proper grade. Precipitation creates major issues. Without porous soil to drain properly, moisture is trapped making our fields unusable.

A minimum of 12 games were cancelled or postponed last season because of excessive moisture. In addition, the clay base allows areas of the infield to settle. This limits learning proper fielding techniques and has often been hazardous to our young players.

Money from the Minnesota Twins will be used to renovate the three infields at the site.

The project entails stripping the existing infields, installing drain tile, creating a new base from sand, laying new sod and replenishing old base paths with new agrilime. Drainage issues would be resolved and a safe, level playing field would be created.

Last August, the Blackduck Summer Baseball board voted to move forward with the $25,000 project. After a 10-year agreement was signed with St. Ann Catholic Church, fundraising efforts started. The organization sponsored a reverse raffle, worked concessions at the Sanford Center, sold advertising signs and naming rights, began grant writing and sent out a mass mailing seeking donations.

In addition, the baseball program partnered with the Blackduck Firemen's Association to host a polar plunge and other activities at the local ice-fishing derby. Blackduck Development Corporation also negotiated a multi-year contract for marketing at the fields to promote that Blackduck truly is "A Great Place for Families."

Currently, the fields are being used by the Blackduck junior high teams and more than 120 players are registered for the summer program. Once the 2012 season is completed this summer, work at the fields will commence.

Blackduck Summer Baseball is thankful for the overwhelming support from the community and excited to receive such generous support from the Minnesota Twins.

Pioneer staff reports