Former professional baseball player hoping to refurbish Southwick fields

Former professional baseball player hoping to refurbish Southwick fields
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 12:32 PM EST
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SOUTHWICK, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The baseball fields next to the recreation center in Southwick have not been in good shape for several years now, but one former professional player from the area is looking to fix that.

For Bryan Barnowski, Southwick and the baseball fields at the local recreation center have forever been a part of his life. Unfortunately, the playing areas have barely been used for quite some time.

“This was a very popular place when I was a kid. We had concessions going. Every night seemed like this place was packed,” said Barnowski, who is president of baseball operations at the Southwick Recreation Center.

Sinking dirt, weeds in the infield, and fences in disrepair have made it tough for any games to be played. Barnowski told Western Mass News that he is looking to raise money to refurbish the two main fields and bring baseball back to his hometown. Pat Armstrong, who helps with the town’s tee-ball program, said fixing the issue would benefit the town.

“Getting them back in shape, just having that would bring kids back to it and have them enjoy playing baseball in Southwick again,” Armstrong said.

If all goes according to plan, Barnowski said the fields could host more than pickup baseball and tee-ball. They could also hold softball, Little League, and even tournaments.

“We need equipment. We need balls. We need volunteers for umpires. There’s just a lot of things that go on, and obviously, the start is the fields,” Barnowski explained.

“Baseball, the numbers have dropped, and I know surrounding towns, same thing…We’ve got the fields here. We can partner up with the surrounding towns and kids playing because I think there is a shortage of fields for everybody,” Armstrong added.

The goal is to raise at least $20,000 through GoFundMe and get as many donations and volunteers as possible. Barnowski said, for him, giving back to his community is a home run.

“I have two six-year-olds that are going to start playing and I want them to have somewhere to go and someone to be proud of. It’s nice playing on nice fields. You get more people,” Barnowski added.

The hope is they will start refurbishing the two main fields in mid-April.