The new Upper Allen Mechanicsburg Baseball Association is ready to start the season with renovations to a Mechanicsburg playing area.
On Tuesday night, Mechanicsburg Borough Council granted permission to the new youth baseball coalition to install a hitting tunnel and upgrade the teener field in cooperation with borough staff at the borough’s Koser Park off Filbert Street.
The new baseball association is a merger of the Upper Allen Baseball Association and the Mechanicsburg Little League that took place late last year. “Mechanicsburg came to Upper Allen and said it’s time to merge,” association vice president Scott Steffan told the borough council on Tuesday.
The organization will be split into two divisions. The Upper Allen Mechanicsburg Baseball Association will include players ages 5 to 12, while the Mechanicsburg Area Teeners will consist of players 13 and older. “We’re the single biggest sports organization in Mechanicsburg,” Steffan said.
Steffan wouldn’t offer an estimated player count for the new association on Tuesday, but a Sentinel article published on Dec. 31 projected more than 500 Mechanicsburg area youths would participate.
The move also has combined Upper Allen’s nine playing fields with Mechanicsburg’s six fields, meaning that officials now have 15 fields to oversee and maintain each year. Steffan told the borough council that the new organization hopes to renovate at least one field per year.
The baseball association is paying for the new batting tunnel at Koser Park. Costs are estimated to level around $2,500, which includes railroad ties to secure the batting cages that will be placed behind the park’s tennis courts and a 23-ton stone dust base.
The organization also will shoulder the costs of removing the grass infield from Koser Park’s teener field for the purpose of leveling off the field. The baseline grass will remain, however. Total costs of field renovations is $3,500.
Steffan said he’d like to start work at Koser Field on Sunday, but the timing depends on the outcome of Wednesday’s storm. The organization is in the process of finishing up work at York Street Field, which includes new fencing and converting the playing field to 50/70 dimensions.
Borough Manager Roger Ciecierski asked Steffen if the organization had plans for Finkenbinder Field or if it would be used.
Although the organization hasn’t developed a plan for Finkenbinder, “I don’t think we’ll be giving it up,” Steffen said. “It’s a beloved field. Parents love it and umpires hate it. Parents love it because they’re right there. Umpire hate because parents are right there to watch every move.”