After a year of waiting, the Milford High School Bearcats baseball team was finally able to take the field at their new baseball diamond Tuesday night.
Dr. Dale Hastings, former Milford School District superintendent, threw out the first pitch for the game.
Hastings, who retired in 2019, was honored due to his work in ushering the new field project to fruition.
Asked how it felt to be honored for his work, Hastings said it felt tremendous.
“When you give your all to something and then people, voluntarily, want to say thank you publicly, that’s special, I don’t care who you are, that’s special,” he said.
Hastings said he’s happy that the players have a new field to use.
“I’m really happy for the kids,” he said.
Hastings also thanked the school board members who worked with him while he was still superintendent for allowing him to see this project to its conclusion.
“A big shout out to the school board while I was still superintendent that allowed me the flexibility in our budget to allocate the dollars,” he said. “This wasn’t just a couple grand, this was a lot of money. The board said ‘Go do it, we want to have a facility for our kids.’ They said go do the softball diamond and we did that. It feels great. This is the culmination. This is the best part.”
Hastings praised the contractors who were involved with the baseball field project.
“We had great contractors,” he said. “Just tremendous people. It was wonderful.”
Hastings praised the work that Lavicka Earthworks and Alvin Fence in getting the field laid out and tiled.
Hastings said the project started in July 2019 after the last high school baseball season.
He said the work was done on the project in time for the junior high baseball team to complete their season.
Then COVID-19 hit in early 2020 and everything shut down.
The high school baseball team lost their chance to play that season and had to wait until Tuesday to christen their new field in a game against Cissna Park.
Looking back on his career, Hastings treasures the time he spent in Milford.
“It was such an honor to be the superintendent here for 14 years,” he said. “You talk about a group of people who are passionate about their kids and passionate about their town and passionate about their school district, Milford is. The whole school district. Same in Sheldon. It’s all the towns. It was such a pleasure to be here and an honor. I couldn’t have asked for a better last 14 years of my career. It’s just a great place.”