With every possible game slot booked, a new baseball park is clearly the perfect addition to an ever growing and improving sports park in Waverley.
One fan enjoying a game from the bleachers said ‘it's about 40 years too late', but the field is here now and baseball players and fans couldn't be happier.
"It's major league," said Waverley Amateur Athletic Association executive director Barry Dalrymple. "We've been waiting a long time and it's taken a lot of work but we're done... well, not quite, we're still waiting for lights."
The Charles McDonald Sports Park is administered by the WAAA and is locally known as the Waverley Sports Park. Originally built over 40 years ago, the park has history. It boasts seven miles of walking trails and used to have a large sandy beach.
"After 20 or 25 years it fell into disrepair," said Dalrymple. "Volunteers got burned out, money ran out. But about five years ago a new group got together and after thousands of volunteer hours we've done all this."
‘All this' is not only the new half-million dollar ball field, but also freshly groomed trails and grounds, and a new beach volleyball court. The trails are used for cross-country skiing in the winter. The beach is still there, and is used, but is no longer sandy and has no lifeguard.
"We're looking at it in the future," he said.
For now all eyes are on the ball field because for the first time ever players from the area have a place to call home. There is also room for an intermediate team (players age18 to 50)
"It's great," said 40-year-old Tony McGuigam who plays for the Tri-County Rangers. "I'm from here originally and when I moved to Florida I played there and now I'm back and I can play here at home."
McGuigam's fiance Cara Hebb is happy as well.
"I like to come out to the games," she said. "It's easier when it's this close."
Thanks to the new facility, baseball players age four through 50 can play ball in Waverley, but Dalrymple said interest continues to grow. There are currently more than 500 players in the area, and there is still much to do.
"This doesn't solve all the field shortages, but it's a tremendous beginning," he said.
Visit www.mcdonaldsportspark.com for park information and game schedules.