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‘Maryland Storm’ to contract ball field

(4/11) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners gave town staff a go-ahead to establish a contract with a baseball league to use a ball field in Community Park.

As a result of discussion that took place at the April 7 meeting of the board of commissioners, town staff will begin to prepare a one-year contract with the management of the Maryland Storm youth baseball league to use a town ball field.

The field in question is referred to as Community Park Field #1, currently a softball field not under contract with any other organizations, and thus basically considered "an open field."

In introducing the discussions, Commissioner Christopher Staiger said, "They (the Maryland Storm youth baseball league) would like to repurpose the field into a baseball (as opposed to softball) field to be used as primary practice and home field."

Rick Olesek, representing Maryland Storm, told the commissioners that enabling the team to use the Emmitsburg field was "a win-win-win."

"It’s (using the local field) going to give us somewhere to practice, give us somewhere where we can hold scrimmages and games," he said. "We’re going to bring other teams up to scrimmage us. They’re going to use our local resources. They’re going to go and see what our community can offer. It’ll be a win for Emmitsburg baseball because we’re holding the state championship here."

Some relatively minor changes proposed would entail where the base plugs would be located, and the creation of a pitcher’s mound.

Bryan Devilbiss, former president of Emmitsburg Baseball, said, "I don’t see any problem with what they’re doing. I know Emmitsburg [Baseball League] disagrees with what they’re doing. Their board does. They oppose it because they think we’re taking kids away from them. We’re not. We’re actually trying to pull kids from other areas to come in here."

Olesek added, "We’re not competing with the existing Emmitsburg rec baseball. We’re here to augment. We’re taking on the tournament play. We’re going to build all year. We’re going to do a higher level of competition than your typical rec ball."

"Town Manager David Haller said, "Physically the field can be converted. I personally, at the staff level, have no problem with it. I would suggest we do a one-year contract the first. At the staff level we’re good."

"We have a process we will take care of it…We could have it (the contract) done in a week if there is no problem with the board," Haller said.

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