Alton baseball players were recognized Saturday at Busch Stadium before the St. Louis Cardinals’ game with the Atlanta Braves. Alton Middle School coach Brett Huff coordinated a grant request through Major League Baseball to refurbish the middle school baseball field. From left are Joey Butler of the Cardinals, Brett Huff, Mike Hampton, Jake St. Peters, Shawn Boyd, Jeff Alderman, Barry Macias, Todd Haug and Fredbird.
ALTON – The dream is nearing its completion for Alton Middle School baseball coach Brett Huff, a Roxana High School graduate.
No need to pinch him. He doesn’t need a reality check.
Huff wanted to get the AHS Middle School baseball and softball fields refurbished and Major League Baseball swung into action. Big time.
Last year, MLB approved a grant of more than $63,000 to upgrade fields at AMS. Huff wrote a lengthy essay on the need for to retool the fields. Renovation started on the project last fall and is expected to be completed this summer.
“Our deadline is June 30, so the (baseball) field is close to being done,” Huff said. “The remaining aspects of the project that are left to do are roof tops for the dugouts, baseline fencing and outfield fence.”
The most impressive part of the project may be a new backstop with a wall and netting. Huff said the opening game is scheduled for Aug. 16 against Southwestern. Alton is planning a ribbon-cutting date prior to that game.
The St. Louis Cardinals saluted Huff and other Alton representatives Saturday before the game against the Atlanta Braves. The AHS Redbirds then played Tuscola after the Cards’ game ended.
“It was a media event to promote the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint initiative between MLB and the MLB Players Association,” Huff said of the on-field ceremony. “I was allowed to invite eight guests with me on the field.”
His original idea was to help youngsters by giving them an opportunity to play on better fields. MLB, evidently, agreed with him.
“It’s for the kids and it’ll be great for the community,” Huff said.