PROSPECT — When two American Legion baseball teams square off at Hotchkiss Field on Saturday, years of work will be coming to fruition.
Mingling with ballplayers and their parents will be men and women who have worked to build a field of dreams in a back corner of the park located off of Route 69.
Work on the project started more than six years ago with fill from different construction jobs trucked to the spot that would one day become a playing field.
Last year the field was seeded, and a few weeks ago the first game was played there. The community pitched in to make the field a reality, with a $5,500 donation from Moffo Construction and donated dugouts from Testa Building and Remodeling, according to Mayor Robert Chatfield.
“It’s a great addition to Hotchkiss,” Parks and Recreation Director Chris Moffo said.
Baseball and softball programs are popular in town. The town has five softball fields, Moffo said. The new field at Hotchkiss will be serving athletes of middle-school age and older.
The current baseball field at Canfield Park will be turned into a softball field, Chatfield said.
The field extends 390 feet into a line of trees. Its green grass is pristine with newly finished dugouts. A town crew was putting in signs at Hotchkiss Field on Thursday, including three red signs marking the foul area.
There is still some more work to be done. A 3-acre wooded area between the baseball diamond and a children’s playground was cleared for a parking lot.
With the field finished, and baseball season in full swing, a proper grand opening was in order.
“The field was ready, so let’s get playing,” Chatfield said.
A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Those attending the event on Saturday will get a free hotdog, soda and cracker jacks, donated by Baki’s Pizzeria and Oliver’s Supermarket.
“Tom Galvin will talk about the good old times,” Chatfield said, referring to the Town Council chairman.
At 3 p.m. the Prospect-Beacon Falls Posts 194/25 senior legion team will play its first games on the field — a doubleheader against their rivals from Bethel. The weather looks like it’ll do its part.
“It’s going to be a wonderful day,” Chatfield said.