New Baseball Diamond Sparks Opportunities for Team
As spring approaches, baseball season comes into “full swing,” and the new diamond on campus comes to mind. Most of the Friends School sports teams have easily accessible fields or courts, but not baseball. Baseball is a sport that has been a part of the Friends community for decades, yet there has never been a home diamond until this spring. Plans of constructing a baseball diamond have been tossed around for over 20 years, and one of the biggest advantages of the new field is travel time for players. Luke Rollfinke, a junior starter on the baseball team, says, “ The new field gives us more time to practice and get ready before games. In the past, we have had to drive over to Medfield, which wasted 15 minutes at the beginning and end of every practice. We can go straight down and play.”
William Marbury, a math teacher at Friends and the varsity coach of the baseball team, also spoke about the struggles of getting over to the field. He explained how time-consuming it was to make sure the team has water, the med-kit, and baseball equipment. Not only did they have to take the equipment back and forth, but Marbury had to make sure Medfield, the old baseball field, was up to date and playable. On top of that, if a student had to see a teacher after school, that player could not go to practice because of travel time. This is just one reason why having a home field is such an advantage.
Rollfinke and Marbury touched on the commitment of their fans. Marbury says, “In my eight years of being a coach, I think we have had 20 fans go to a home game at Medfield.” On the other hand, basketball gets 20 or more fans every Friday night. Having fans cheering for you and showing support is what playing on your home field is all about. So why, after years of struggling to get to and from practice, has Friends only gotten a baseball field now? Why has the process been so prolonged? At the end of last season, Marbury was unsure if Medfield would still be an option for his boys in the 2020 season. The school also realized that not having a football team meant baseball could potentially get their home field. When Coach Marbury and the other athletic coordinators met, Marbury spoke to the fact that Medfield might not be an option anymore for Friends baseball and after months of planning and convincing, the team was granted their field.
The team had their home opener on Wednesday, March 4th and came out with a tremendous 5-1 victory, puting the Quakers on top to start the season. The new diamond is not just a huge step in the community for the enrolled students, but for students in the past and future as well. Friends alum Dr. Matt Peters (‘02) came to the opener to show his joy for the new home field. He says, “It’s been a long time coming since my time at Friends in 2002. I played baseball at Friends for six years and seeing the field made me really happy. I wish it was a field I had gotten to play on.” Dr. Peters's thoughts shed a light on our new field on campus.
Hopefully this new field will be a “grand slam” for the baseball team and Friends School athletics.