Chevrolet Unveils NJ Diamonds and Dreams Baseball Field
By: Chaiti Sen
April 14, 2011 9:41 am ET
As the West Atlantic County Youth League walked on to a newly renovated baseball field gifted by Chevrolet’s “Building Diamonds and Dreams” program, Chevrolet’s Chaiti Sen caught up with Martin Klosek, president of the league, and coach Brad Strouss to capture their reactions and find out how the renovation of the Weymouth Township municipal complex would bring the community together.
Chaiti Sen: Were you aware of Chevy’s Diamonds and Dreams Program?
Martin Klosek: I was aware of the program and that the parent of one of our little leaguers had nominated the league but I had no idea there were multiple nominations.
Brad Strouss: For me it was very different. I wasn’t aware of Chevy’s Diamonds & Dreams program but once I heard we were nominated and had a chance of actually winning a complete field makeover, I was extremely excited. There is no way a little community like ours could afford to do this on its own. Having been a coach for several years, I know that the condition of the field where you train impacts how players respond and play the game. If the field our kids play on has the look and feel of a big league park it will certainly pique their interest and make them feel like they are part of something very special.
CS: What was your reaction to learning not only that your league had been nominated by a member of the community for renovation, but that Weymouth Field was among five winners chosen from more than 500,000 online entrants for field renovations?
MK: The fact that Michael Goldberg from our small community had been selected was unbelievable but I was speechless when I learned he also won a new Chevy Traverse. The first thing that came to mind was to ask him to pick my lottery numbers.
BS: I have a slightly more personal reason to be excited about this renovation. I’m coaching two teams this year and can’t wait to practice on the field. When we first started practices in early March, we were practising at other fields to preserve the new field for our opening games. Let me tell you that it was tough convincing the kids and their parents as well. This is how excited everyone is about this field.
CS: What will the Diamonds & Dreams renovation of Weymouth Field mean for the youth, families and spectators of the West Atlantic County Youth League (WACYL)?
MK: The Weymouth municipal complex is the hub of the WACYL community and the Diamond & Dreams renovation project boosted the spirits of the entire community. This renovation has had a direct influence on player registrations for our spring baseball program and now we are putting out three additional teams. This has not happened in the last 30 years. We expect 161 players to play on this field this year. I also hope that members of the community will come out in greater numbers to enjoy the game and cheer the teams.
BS: All of the kids I coach just love playing on our “Little Field of Dreams.” The first time I took my three sons to play on the field I was actually a little apprehensive to play on it … it was so impressive. The pitcher’s mound and home plate were covered with tarp, the grass was a perfect shade of green, and the infield was raked to perfection. I laugh about it now but I can remember thinking at that time, maybe I should check with Marty to see if it’s OK to play! Everyone has a special childhood memory of going to a big league ballpark for the very first time. That’s the kind of memory our “Little Field Of Dreams” will make for our kids.