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Friday, March 23, 2018

Those driving by the Toepke Park, which houses four baseball fields for Cal Ripken baseball, stopped to take pictures of the destruction caused by the flood waters Monday morning.

Baseball fields under water during flood

League representatives hope community will support field repair costs and labor


By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer

At least one victim of Monday’s Yellowstone River flood may need some community help to get back on its feet.

Glendive ABC Baseball was dealt a major blow when floodwaters ravaged the league’s complex on North Meade Avenue.

According to ABC Baseball board president Ty Dufner, at least 4 feet of water covered the fields at the height of the flood. 

The roaring river waters “destroyed” the backstop for the C league field, damaged parts of the T-ball field and floated a shed off its foundation.

ABC Baseball is scheduled to begin playing games at the end of April. The damage to the complex could also affect the Dawson County High School softball team, which uses the facility as their homefield.

After the flood waters recede, Dufner said plenty of work will be required to get the complex ready for play.

“The sediment covers the fields, and it just gets hard as a rock,” he said.

ABC Baseball has been through this before, having seen the complex flood most recently in the spring of 2011. Dufner said it took weeks of work on the fields then to remove and break up the hard sediment.

While the fields can be repaired with hard work, Dufner is concerned that the cost of fixing the flood damage could affect the league’s ability to provide the most opportunity to Glendive’s young baseball players.

“The hard part is that being a non-profit, the whole year basically survives off of our raffle and concession stand sales,” Dufner said. “Anything that sets us back really, really hurts.”

He did note that the league plans on having the complex open when the season begins, regardless of the pace of repair.

“Usually, the games will be played no matter what, they’ll just be played in horrible conditions,” Dufner said.

Dufner said ABC Baseball is asking local businesses for donations to help the league with repairs to the fields.

Another sports casualty of Monday’s flood was Gabbert Field, the DCHS football team’s practice field. 

School officials reported seeing tackling dummies floating out amongst the trees, but said the dummies were old and no longer used.

DCHS Vice Principal Wade Murphy did bemoan the fact that the field had just been re-sodded and finally “gotten right” after being last flooded in 2011. Murphy noted that after that last flood, the field was still wet by the time summer break was over and couldn’t be used for football practice.


Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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