NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. – A “clemmy” is a term used by the Nebraska City baseball program to describe a ground ball that takes a bad hop in the infield at Clemmy Holmes Field. The lips and sink holes would cause a ground ball to ricochet right, left or hop above a defender.
“Clemmy” may soon become an extinct term.
The Nebraska City Baseball Association spent $75,000 to replace the infield at the baseball field in Steinhart Park. The project included killing and removing the old grass, hauling in new dirt, putting in a new sprinkler system and puzzling in new sod.
Association President and former Nebraska City High School Baseball Coach Tom Bales says the old infield had a lot of lips and sink holes.
“Everybody called it the ‘plinko board,’ so you never knew where the ball was going to go. The main thing was it had sunk. When we had the guy come out just to look at it and tell us what we needed, he showed us how much the field had sunk over the last 18 years.”
The last time the infield was replaced was in 2000, the first season of baseball for Nebraska City High School.
With many schools and legion teams electing to go with artificial turf, the Nebraska City Baseball Association decided to stay with natural grass.
“Cost is one thing. It cost us $65,000 – $70,000 to do this and the artificial turf is about $240,000 – $250,000. Cost was the original factor.”
Bales says the cost of replacing the infield was covered by contributions from area foundations, profits made from hosting the 2017 Junior Legion State Baseball Tournament and the program’s annual fundraiser banquet.
Odeys, an Omaha-based company, headed the project which began in the middle of October and took 10-12 days to complete.
Future improvements at Clemmy Holmes Field include a new press box and a new warning track, according to Bales. He says they hope to have a new 12×24 foot press box in by the spring season.
The Pioneers will get to test their new infield grass when they host Bennington in their home opener on March 19, 2018.