LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Sunday, June 2 is the home opener game for the La Crosse Loggers and crews are busy prepping the field. Luckily, all the rain this spring isn't causing setbacks.
"It's in pretty decent shape," said Chris Goodell, General Manager of the La Crosse Loggers. "There are some spots that are wet around here right now… But luckily, this is a tremendous surface and it drains really well."
The fast drainage is due to the sandy soil in Copeland Park where the ballpark is located. And this is good news for crews who have been working tirelessly to get the field ready for the start of the season.
"We just laid down an entire new infield of sod about 10 days ago," said Goodell. "And certainly rain water is good for it, but not every day."
Every year, some re-sodding is done but this year was a little more extensive than past years.
"There's 200 games a year played out here in Copeland Park and so it's used a lot by the whole community which is fantastic," said Goodell. "But it does cause some wear and tear. And it got to a point where we needed to replace the entire infield. So it was torn up and beautiful, brand-new sod was laid down. And it actually looks better than it's ever looked out here."
Goodell said having a well maintained field is necessary for the safety of the players and the aesthetics of the game. With more rain in the forecast, crews are poised to protect the new sod if necessary.
"We have the ability if there's rain to put a full infield tarp over it and cover it," said Goodell. "The outfield drains extremely well."
And damage to the field isn't the only concern heading into the season. Wet fields are more dangerous to play on.
"Dampness on any field, outdoor field of course, you get some slippery parts but of course baseball players wear cleats so that gives them some extra footing in that regard but they know that going in, just like our guys do," said Goodell. "We've played many games after rain delays and you deal with it. Ball gets a little wet too. But it's not an adverse type thing, it's not something we're not accustomed to but something we keep an eye on."
Rain or shine, the loggers are ready for another exciting season.
"We've always believed and we've always done it here that whenever it stops raining we can have a baseball game," said Goodell. "We can make that happen."