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Minnetonka High School Baseball Field, Minnetonka, MN


   

Baseball is a popular summer sport in Minnetonka, Minnesota. From Little League t-ball to Legion ball, enthusiasm and participation runs high. Minnetonka High School follows suit and hosts a very successful baseball program. This perennial Lakes Conference powerhouse makes long annual forays into post season play.

The Minnetonka Skippers were faced with a challenge common to many northern climates. The baseball season is short and much of the time, the field is too wet to play on. Once the snow has melted, and the soil has thawed out, and the field is ready for use, the spring rains start.

The Minnetonka Diamond Club developed a vision plan that would serve not only the high school but also all the summer league baseball teams in town. After much discussion, planning, coordinating, and fund raising Max Steininger Construction was contracted to build a $3.5 million synthetic turf ballpark. From start to finish the project was enthusiastically supported by the community as was evidenced by the level of volunteerism and financial support.

Drainage is a critical, but often overlooked, element in synthetic turf drainage. When water is not provided with a ready escape route, it lingers on the compacted base, destabilizing and distorting the sub-base. It can also damage the carpet itself.

ParTek Supply suggested the use of Multi-Flow as a drainage medium. Multi-Flow is a very efficient drainage medium and can be installed without trenching. According to construction foreman Brent Johnson, Max Steininger Construction found Multi-Flow to be easy to work with. Minnetonka High has experienced a safe, dry, level, and attractive field.

The schedule is literally packed from snow melt to snow fall. In addition to the high school Minnetonka Skippers, the field also serves as home field for the Minnetonka Millers, Minnetonka American Legion, Minnetonka Babe Ruth, Minnetonka Cavaliers, and the Hopkins Berries. In the fall it serves as a football practice field and sophomore football playing field.

First year Skipper coach Paul Twenge is not exactly a rookie. He has served as coach at the colligate level with over 500 victories under his belt. Most recently he has skippered Valparaiso University for the last 19 seasons. Coach Twenge observes that this is a field that most college teams would envy. With Multi-Flow in place quietly doing its work, it should remain a masterpiece for many years to come.