The Oconomowoc baseball community has pitched in again without even throwing the ball. Sean Smith, president of the Oconomowoc Area Baseball Club, broke the news Friday.
"Water Well Solutions of Mapleton has made a very generous donation to the three-field baseball and softball diamond complex planned for the corner of Dousman Road and Genesee Lake Road in Summit," Smith said. "They're donated the time, materials and labor to install a well there so we can have running water. That probably amounts to $15,000 to $20,000."
The OABC has partnered with Village of Summit on a five-year renewable lease on the complex, where local youth baseball and softball teams are expected to begin playing this weekend. The backstops and fences are being installed this week.
"Mike Judkins, whose son (Philip) plays on one of our 13-year-old teams, is with Water Well Solutions," Smith said. "His son won't even be playing at the Summit diamonds, but he wanted to do something for the program."
The Summit complex will be for OABC baseball teams ranging from 8U to 12U and for all of the organization's softball teams. 13U teams will be playing the majority of their games at the Oconomowoc High School diamonds. "Eight of our 18 teams will be playing at the new complex," Smith said. We'll also host tryouts for USSSA Team Wisconsin there June 27. That team will go to Illinois this summer to play against teams from Illinois, Iowa and Indiana."
The OABC was formed in 1997. Prior to that, youth baseball in the community was overseen by the YMCA, the Oconomowoc Parks and Recreation Department or La Belle Little League.
"A number of parents put the organization together in 1997 to improve playing facilities in Oconomowoc," Smith said. "That's how we raised the funds to get the pavilion at Roosevelt Field and maintenance. "We took over the Legion programs and the Five O's and have continued expanding to have competitive teams starting at U8. This will be our second year of having a fastpitch program. We have a pretty structured program now."
The recent donation to the Summit complex os the latest example of the Oconomowoc area baseball community pulling together to carry on a rich tradition.
"This is all part of what we're trying to do," Smith said. "Most people who are members of our board are former Oconomowoc players who either have or will have little ones in our program." The OABC will host the 9U/10U USSSA State Championships from June 17 through June 19 and the 11U/12U USSSA State Championships from June 24 through June 26 at Champion Field in Oconomowoc.