“The district felt that the old cyclone fencing was adequate, but small-scale netting is much better,” said baseball dad David Dyer. “It creates an optical illusion that tricks the eyes – you see through it to watch the action as if the net is not there. Our baseball and softball fields have been in a state of neglect – this will be an improvement to the viewing experience.”
The Wildcat Club will pay a portion of the expense, but to pay for the rest the team is selling 10 by 5 foot banners to hang prominently in the outfield.
“In addition to standard advertisers like hamburger restaurants and pizza joints, we’re hoping for local churches, former players, student groups – anyone who wants to show support for the team,” Dyer told me. The cost is $400 for a new banner and $300 for annual renewal. The banner program was started in 2012 to raise funds for equipment, uniforms and a year-end banquet for players. The colorful signage gave The Cat, as the baseball field is known, the look and feel of a minor league ballpark. Additional advertising space will be available around the dugouts and concession stand.
“The RISD worked hard over the summer to get out all the nooks and crannies out that had developed over 40-plus years,” added Dyer. “They scraped it down to dirt level and resodded, put in a new sprinkler system, new concrete retaining wall and new perimeter fencing. All of the other high schools in RISD, plus Jesuit, already have modern net backstop systems, so LH is playing catch-up on this final piece.”