Foul Balls Crash into Two Windshields at Mead Park; Netting Around Backstop, Foul Lines Raised

Workers last week extended upwards the netting around a newly turfed little league baseball field at Mead Park, days after two foul balls went sailing into the lot behind it and crashed into the windshields of cars parked there. The backstop at Mellick Field was shifted back as part of a public-private project that also saw the infields of both Mellick and Gamble Fields turfed for the start of this season, officials said. It used to be that part of the backstop at Mellick jutted over home plate so that some pop ups hit it and bounced down, Recreation Director Steve Benko said when asked about the need to make the netting higher. But the architects of the project, partly because potential outs were taken away by that configuration, decided to move the backstop, Benko said. “What happened was the whole angle changed, we had foul balls that used to hit the fence or trees, so they had New Canaan Baseball raise the netting to try and stop the problem,” Benko said.

Town Officials Approve Baseball Storage Shed for Little League Fields at Mead Park

Town officials last week approved the purchase and installation of a storage shed at Mead Park that will serve new partially turfed little league baseball fields. 

The Board of Selectmen at its Feb. 26 meeting voted unanimously in favor of the $6,165.40 project, to be paid for New Canaan Baseball, a nonprofit organization that runs youth baseball in town. The 12-by-18 foot shed will be located at the end of the parking lot that runs along Mellick Field’s right field line, Recreation Director Steve Benko told the selectmen at their meeting, held in Town Hall. “And they would keep the portable pitching mounds and some of the other equipment,” Benko said. “And we now have turf infields so there is a need for more maintenance on a weekly bases to put down rubber as kids slide and wear it out.

Op-Ed: New Canaan Baseball ‘Natural, Deserving’ Occupant of Mead Park Brick Barn

New Canaan Baseball (NCB) wants to move into Mead Park Brick Barn but the town continues to talk about its demolition. Over the years, countless parties have wanted to occupy the space: Old Faithful, a bike shop, a flower shop, architects, not-for-profits, and now NCB. Historically, despite what the town says, third-party occupancy and even third-party investment in the Barn have not seriously been considered—in 2013, CT Trust awarded the town a grant for Barn work but it lapsed under the then first selectman who found implausible excuses not to seek Town Council approval. This grant is but one example of various sources of possible external, non-Town funding from the state, federal government, foundations, and private interests. Some of these sources should be readily available and forthcoming.

New Canaan Baseball Proposes Long-Term Use of ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’

After the idea first surfaced at last month’s Forum on Public Buildings, the nonprofit organization that runs youth baseball in New Canaan on Thursday formally proposed using a disused town-owned brick structure on Richmond Hill Road for storage and meetings. New Canaan Baseball officials in a May 10 letter to the selectmen and Town Council said the building known as the “Brick Barn” or “Richmond Hill Garage” would be more suitable for storage than a town-owned shed at Waveny and could offer more uses. “New Canaan Baseball would like to formally express our interest in the above property,” NCBB Co-Presidents Rob Moore and Brian Rogers said in the letter, obtained by “We need to fully understand the financial impact and commitment of inhabiting the space but we are willing to explore the next steps.”

“We recognize that the Barn needs repairs and upgrading, and have seen preliminary estimates,” the letter said. “The main room on the ground floor provides us some raw space we could use with some modifications.