Thorold’s baseball team doesn’t want DSBN to rob McMillan Park home
For the Thorold Anchors baseball team, McMillan Park isn’t just a baseball field, it’s their home, and if it works, so is the team.
The Town of Thorold is currently considering a proposal from the District School Board of Niagara to construct an artificial turf field at McMillan Park. The pitch, which would be used for soccer and football, would also feature an eight-lane rubber track around the perimeter. The plans, if approved, would see the baseball field removed from the park.
It’s a move that Thorold Anchors manager Aaron McInnis says would leave the team without a home.
While the team plays under the Thorold banner, they operate independently of the city, and the removal of the ballpark they call their home turf could mean the team has to pack up and head to another municipality.
“As far as losing a dimensionally appropriate field, I don’t think you can even compare the damage,” McInnis said.
“It would just be insurmountable,” he added, while emphasizing the importance of a diamond of the right size not only for adults, but also for the next generation of Thorold baseball players, like his 11-year-old youth team.
Luckily for McInnis, the redesign is still only a proposal and not finalized. While DSBN trustees approved the plans in May 2021, the Town of Thorold sent correspondence to the school board in September highlighting the ball diamond issue.
At a board meeting in December, DSBN business superintendent and treasurer Stacy Veld said she was continuing to explore options for updating the plan.
“This proposal would require DSBN to build only an artificial turf field, which would allow for a combined baseball and soccer field in this park,” Veld said.
In the meantime, the city is reaching out to the community for input on the Carleton Street North park proposal. Before the council makes a decision, it wants to hear from the community. Comments are welcome until February 15 on the town’s website, Thorold.ca/redesign.