By Thomas Sellers Jr.
For Millington Trojan Skipper Zane Adams, creating his field of dreams for his baseball program began when he took over the job 4 years ago. When he wore the Black and Gold of Millington, Adams pitched most of his home games in the historic USA Stadium.
The field maintenance and amenities surrounding the diamond were taken care of by professionals. Once Adams returned to lead the Trojan Baseball program, Millington called Miles Park home.
In need of some renovations, Adams, players, fellow coaches and numerous volunteers have slowly changed the look of the venue. The latest and maybe most grand project took place this winter with the addition of an indoor practice facility.
“My Booster Club and I got it up and in the works about the middle of December,” Adams recalled. “I had one of my dads reach out to me and say he had a guy who could build it for a good piece. I had somebody donate some money to help us get started up front. I went to my Booster Club and they agreed we could finance the rest of it.
“I told them, ‘Let’s go ahead and finance it and build it,’” he continued. “‘At least if anybody wants to donate money toward it, they can at least see what it is going towards.’ My Booster Club was on board and it has happened.”
Now the 2,400 square-foot facility is almost complete. The practice area is 30-feet wide by 80-feet long. There will be two full batting cages and throwing area. The floor of the building will be laced with Astro turf.
“We’ll be able to hit and throw indoors now,” Adams noted. “I do all this for the kids for sure. On rainy days we’ve had nowhere to go. This building is going to be huge for them. We’re going to be able to practice and get what we need done.”
His first project to better the environment for the players was renovating the outfield wall, getting rid of the rusty, chain linked fence.
Next up were the changes to the dugouts with fresh paint, new secure fencing for the players’ safety.
Now the field features a classic collegiate ballpark look with bullpens on the field and foul territory fencing cut down from 6 feet to 4 feet with chain-length black coated fence.
With new dirt on the way, the expenses totaled to about $60,000 for the improvement of Miles Park.
“I’ve always been a guy who likes to take care of the field,” Adams said. “I tell my players all the time, ‘Guys you’re here for 3 months more than you are at home. I want you to be proud of what you’ve got. I want you to take care of what we’ve got.’
“Day by day when they were building this building, I could see the look on the kids’ faces like, ‘This is going to be awesome,’” he added. “That’s why we do it. It’s for them to get better.”
Adams said the new-look Miles Park will give his players a look of a winner and that will bleed over to the field of play. And the fresh appearance represents Millington when teams from across the United States come to play in Flag City.
He hopes community leaders will see the efforts of the Trojan Baseball program and contribute.
“If they want to donate to us, they can see where the money is going toward,” he said. “It’s not we’re going to sit on the money and wait until we get it all to make something happen. We went ahead and financed it upfront.
“We went into a little debt,” Adams concluded. “This is something we’ve needed. I’ve been here four years and this has been my dream project. The Booster Clubs of the past have helped to pave the way to where we are today.”
For more information on donating, call 873-8100.