Massarelli baseball complex entering home stretch

Massarelli baseball complex entering home stretch

Image Credit: Lori Feeney

After having been thrown a curveball by supply chain and labor issues, the Massarelli baseball field complex in Wilkshire Hills is on track for opening in February. The six outdoor fields start hosting games until April or May, according to Dave Schaub, who designed the complex.

Schaub is hoping the building that will house a full-size indoor infield and, eventually, a restaurant and bar, will be ready for private lessons and team practices as early as February.

“Just about all the underground work and the concrete slab is done,” he said. “The builders should be there next week to put up steel for the building.”

The facility will also feature a mezzanine from which games on three fields can be viewed.

“We’re a little behind where we wanted to be, but now we’re moving full steam ahead,” said Schaub, who is an equal partner with John Massarelli and Jeff Bunner at Massarelli Baseball School, headquartered in Akron.

The complex will serve as home base for the school’s Mash Factory teams and will be available to leagues as well as high school and Little League teams.

“I’d like to host some local high school games this spring. and maybe serve as a site for some regional Ohio High School Athletic Association games,” said Schaub.

Schaub said the west parking lot is nearly complete and chain link fencing will be installed once the turf work is complete, which should be early next week. Excavators have been laboriously removing dirt for the turf installation, them placing dirt on the outfields and planting outfield grass.

“We’ve been flipping dirt around everywhere,” said Cody Coy, owner of Valleybrook Excavating in East Canton. “We came in at the beginning of the project and did all the grading for the ball field. We also stripped all the top soil and then re-graded all the subsoil.”

The plan for the complex calls for an outdoor pavilion and playground to open in the spring and ballfield lighting at some point. According to Massarelli, Schaub traveled to similar facilities all over the United States and designed this one to be unlike any other.

The complex is predicted to draw about 1.000 people per weekend at the height of baseball season. Schaub said some teams are trying to book practices already, but it is too soon.

The boys of summer will just have to wait until after the first of the year when the building is complete. If all goes according to plan, Massarelli just may have found the sweet spot for baseball lovers.