Volunteers give Atwater youth baseball field a makeover

09/14/2013 12:00 AM

09/13/2013 7:26 PM

Over his career, San Francisco Giants’ closer Sergio Romo has saved dozens of games for the defending World Series champions.

Now the 30-year-old relief pitcher is being credited with helping to save an entire baseball diamond for more than 500 children involved in the Junior Giants youth baseball program in Atwater.

“He donated autographed hats, shirts, and baseballs to some of our auctions, and that really helped us raise the money,” said Joe Hoffar, president of the Police Activities League in Atwater.

But Romo was just one of dozens of people who pitched in to help renovate the youth baseball diamond in Atwater’s Veterans Park.

Hoffar said the police youth group has raised more than $15,000 to help with the massive makeover needed at the field.

The group has also received numerous private donations and raised money at its snack bar and other booths at community events and received a grant from Baseball Tomorrow.

They are also working with Atwater city officials with hopes of obtaining further grant funding, Hoffar said.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Sept. 7 at the park. “It really needs a lot of work; it’s in pretty tough condition,” Hoffar said.

Hoffar said the field needs new sod, sprinklers, dugouts and lighting. “Basically, it’s like we’re starting from scratch,” he said.

It is the first time any work has been done of the field since the Police Activities League took over field operations more than 12 years ago, Hoffar said.

All of the work is being donated by volunteers and private companies.

Hoffar said work on the field should be completed in time for the start of next season in June. “It’s a great example of a community coming together for the kids,” he said. “Good things always happen when people come together.”

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