When Rick Wilson was driving home from Germantown last May, he knew Angleberger Field in Baker Park was going to flood. Dark clouds filled the sky as his son used his phone to pull up the forecast, which called for 2 to 3 inches of rain.

Wilson has been Frederick American Little League’s president for more than 15 years. Whenever it rains that much, the field floods, he said.

The resulting damage is still seen, in part, today. The pitcher’s mound was flattened, and the bases and plugs were washed away. Fencing along the right field line was swept away, too, Wilson said.

“I happened to come out here the next morning ... and it was beyond anything that we’d ever had,” Wilson said.

Angleberger Field has been hit by flooding over the last few years. Bob Smith, Frederick’s deputy director of parks and recreation, said officials have completed some work to address that.

“We were able to add gravel underground drains in the T-ball field and in left field of the little league field to address the standing water,” Smith said in an email. “The new backstop fencing along with the fence down both foul lines has been completed. We were able to complete some initial regrading of the infield earlier this spring but unfortunately the rains returned and the area has remained too wet to continue.”

Smith said record rainfall from last year has continually delayed work. He added that officials are committed to restoring the field.

The damage has been estimated at roughly $35,000, Smith said.

“Once the field dries out, we will finish the additional grading, install sod in left field and complete the infield work,” Smith said.

Last May, the flooding was so substantial that Wilson said he saw a boat on the Golden Mile near Wawa, completing a water rescue.

“I mean, cars were underwater. And it was a lot of rain in a short amount of time,” Smith said.

Shortly after the flooding, local Little League organizations donated to Frederick American Little League, including those in Loudoun County, Virginia, and Rockville.

The donations totaled several thousand dollars, Wilson said.

“A lot of the leagues in our district kicked in money. ... You feel like it’s doom and gloom, and then all of a sudden, people want to donate,” he said.

“I don’t know what it is about this field. ... There’s a lot of people who played here, there’s a lot of history, which is why we’ll always use it,” Wilson added. “People will walk by here, they’ll sit. ... They’ll grab a hot dog and just watch the game.”

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(11) comments

jsklinelga

kudps to you guys. It would be nice to find an alternative location serving that area but in the long run it may be far more expensive. I played on the Elks the year the field was upgraded with dugouts. The years before, as I am sure many remember the diamond was in between Culler Lake and the Tennis Courts. Maybe fancy, fancy is not needed. Just a place to play 90% of the time. I remember men like Mr. Cooper and Mr. Palm helping to build this field. At the time my dad was President of the league so the field has memories for me.

fredneck

We should talk! Please email the league at frederickamericanlittleleague@yahoo.com

manguito

Hire a civil engineer to design a gravity retaining wall around the field and elevate the playing surface. Complete redesign.

fredneck

AMEN

niceund

I still can't understand why a $30,000 grant is being used to restore fields in Braddock Heights when City taxpayers are on the hook for restoring the field in Baker Park. This field continually floods and funds should either be allocated to completely restore this field so that it will never happen again or shut it down and play in Braddock.

public-redux

IIRC, the $30K is from a private sector source. Apparently, they want to spend their money in Braddock. Whether taxpayers should keep repairing a field in a flood plain is a good question. I’d say no. Besides, I have the impression that remaining players can consolidate onto the two other fields. And then there is Hargett.

fredneck

A baseball field on Hargett would be ideal.

fredneck

That grant is being used so when the Baker Park fields flood those kids will have a place to play and practice. We have not played a game at home in over a year after losing 2 fields in one flood. Other leagues help by giving us games at their locations. We are borrowing fields as we can. It's a hardship for all involved including coaches, and kids. The league rents the fields from the city and the city is doing whatever they can to help us and help alleviate the problem. Kudos to Bob Smith and Scott Geasey and their staff who are working to resolve a very difficult problem. They are trying new ideas in an effort to help. Until it gets resolved we will improve Braddock Field to provide a safe playing field for our players. That's where the grant comes in to play.

public-redux

You seem like you might know. Would it make sense to consolidate into fewer leagues? There seems to be a constant theme that the number of kids playing now is markedly fewer than some (10? 20?) years ago. Presumably there are fewer teams than before.

fredneck

This is asked a lot. While baseball numbers are down, the leagues still exist and serve their areas well. For instance, Frederick High went several years with no JV baseball. Numbers go up an down over the years. I've been involved a long time and have seen peaks and valleys. On one hand combining leagues has it's positives but on the other hand it also negatively impacts many kids. Kids who gain experience at on level of play in one league may never get the chance to play at that level in another league. It can go back and forth but the bottom line is making it the best experience you can for the kids in the program. It is, after all, a kids game that they should simply play to play and get off their phone, Ipad, computer, or TV.

public-redux

Thanks for your answer.

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