Mason County News
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An Update from Your Mason Youth Baseball Board
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 • Posted February 20, 2014

Mason Youth Baseball has made the change to Mason Youth Baseball Little League® for the 2014 season! There are lots of new changes on the horizon for us! Mason hasn’t been involved in the Little League® Organization since 2002.

The move to Little League® was made for many reasons, but, as with all decisions our board makes, the ultimate deciding factor was for our children. There are and will be new rules and more paperwork that come with being a member of the Little League®, but for the future of Mason Baseball and Softball we took the plunge.

The community of Mason has four ball fields at the Baseball and Softball Complex located at Mason Park. One high school baseball field, one high school softball field, and two tee-ball through majors’ fields.

We thought it would be good to show the community all the great things happening out at your Mason Community Baseball and Softball Complex. Some of the improvements are: A COVERED Playscape was purchased with the help of the Ed Rachal Grant and logistic support was provided by the City of Mason. The grant covered $15,000 of the project and our board covered approximately $3,000 to finish out the safety edges and the sand was generously donated by Fairmont Minerals.

By Opening Day, a Safe Zone will be established around the perimeter of the Playscape with no vehicle traffic in the area. Children will be able to play safely and ball players will also have an area free from vehicle traffic to warm-up before games.

Many of the improvements to the Mason Baseball and Softball Complex have been a cooperative effort of numerous volunteers from Mason Youth Baseball, HCTC, CTEC, Mason ISD, Mason Community Foundation, The City of Mason, members of the Mason Rodeo Association, as well as, support with financial and in-kind donations from numerous businesses and community volunteers. Our community has done a terrific job working together for long-term improvements to the Mason Baseball and Softball Complex for the benefit of our children and community.

Another much needed improvement project that is now complete as of the 2014 season is that our last new scoreboard. The Cowgirl softball field has a brand new scoreboard for all to enjoy! The Mason Rodeo Association has also donated their previous press box to this field as well.

The yellow safety fences and purple windscreens were purchased in the 2013 season with a donation from the Mason Community Foundation.

Due to drought conditions and limited rainfall, we have begun planning for an irrigation system for our two youth fields. The irrigation system will cost our Mason Youth Baseball Program $16,000 with all work done locally. Our small board cannot adequately maintain these fields without an irrigation system. Over the past several years, watering these two fields entailed assembling pipes (only enough for half a field), watering, moving the pipes, watering the other half of the field, and the breaking the pipes down, moving to the opposite field and starting the process again (about an eight to ten hour project). The irrigation system will allow us to conserve water more efficiently as well. We will be able pick an exact time to water and an exact amount of time to water so we do over-water the fields or use water during the peak times.

Another, big challenge this season has been deciding a division of play for the 11-12 year age group. Many surrounding counties have decided to go with the “Intermediate” baseball rules and field size, instead of the “Majors” rules and field size. This is a division which is made available through Little League®. The “Intermediate” division provides opportunity for stealing bases and allowing the players to have more fun with the game (more like the baseball most people know of); however, this would mean changing our youth fields from 60 foot bases and 40 foot pitcher’s mound to 70 foot baselines and 50 foot pitcher’s mound. This change will only affect our current “Majors” age level of 11-12 year olds. If our board can raise approximately $1,200, we can then transform BOTH of our fields to be MULTIPURPOSE “Intermediate” and Minors/Machine Pitch/Tee Ball fields. With this change of division, we can then host a large “Intermediate” Tournament, as no other town around Mason could offer two “Intermediate” fields. So, if anyone else feels as strongly as some of us do, we would love any donations that could go towards this objective!

Our goal is to keep our registration costs down as much as possible, so we can have as many Mason children playing baseball and softball as possible. Some of you may have received Sponsor Packets earlier than normal; however, Little League® asks that we get our participant numbers in sooner than we have in years past. So, if you feel like this is something you would like to contribute to, we can assure you that any amount given is greatly appreciated.

We also want the community to know how much work your Mason Youth Baseball board is putting in for the children of Mason. We all feel very strongly about what a gift it is to have baseball and softball in our community. On most days, you will find board members out at the fields trying to get our fields ready for the upcoming season and OPENING DAY!

Opening Day will be in March this year. Scheduling is in the works right now and we will let everyone know as soon as possible when it will be. We will have a great meal to serve, all kinds of baseball and softball fun, and many activities for children of all ages!

To help supplement our scholarships, our board had a hamburger fundraiser on February 9th and we have been hosting a concession stand during all the Mason Youth basketball games. Mason schools are made up of 58% economically disadvantaged students and all the money we get goes to help with scholarships and improvements for our fields.

Our community and our school need baseball and softball. Baseball encompasses more child involvement than any other sport our community offers. Right now, we have over 180 registrations and of those, 15% are scholarships. We need all our Mason students and families to be able to participate and partake in a pastime that is wholesome and healthy. We live in an area where it is difficult to find opportunities for our youth to become involved. Baseball and Softball are key to our community’s success. Our children, from age 3 to 15 will learn life-long habits that only baseball and softball can teach.

We also realize that many organizations are asking for help at any given time, and we just wanted to give a small overview of what the Mason Youth Baseball board is currently working on. We need all the help we can get and if you have any questions, please see our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/masonyouthbaseball .

Donations will be so appreciated and can be mailed to Mason Youth Baseball, P.O. Box 66, Mason, Texas 76856.

Important Dates and Times:

Sunday, February 23, 2014 Team Evaluation

1:00- 2:00 12U Baseball & Softball

2:00-3:00 10U Baseball & Softball

3:00-4:00 8U Machine Pitch & Coach Pitch

There are NO Try Outs or Evaluations for Junior Ball or for Tee Ball

OPENING DAY will take place in MARCH this year! Not for sure on the date, more to follow!

_____I (we) would like to donate to the scholarship fund for Mason Youth Baseball $______

_____I (we) would like to donate towards the “Intermediate” multipurpose field fund $_____

_____I (we) would like to donate to the irrigation fund in the amount of $ ______

_____I (we) would like to make an anonymous donation to Mason Youth Baseball $ ______

Mason Youth Baseball

PO Box 66

Mason, TX 76856

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