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Renovations coming to Hobbs Field at Runyon Sports Complex

Pueblo Loaf N' Jug takes the field against Cherry Creek in June, 2018 during the Tony Andenucio Memorial baseball tournament. The backstop and dugouts will receive repairs starting Aug. 1 [CHIEFTAIN FILE PHOTO]


BY AUSTIN WHITE | The Pueblo Chieftain | JULY 9, 2019

Hobbs Field at the Runyon Sports Complex is one of Pueblo’s most notable locations and following summer baseball this year, the field will be getting a bit of a face lift.

Starting Aug. 1, renovations to the 84-year-old field’s backstop fence and dugouts will begin that will insert a netting in place of the current metal fence and larger dugouts with better drainage systems.

Following last week’s rainstorm, Runyon general manager Dave Dudley and the rest of the field crew received another taste of why the current dugouts need remodeling.

“Last week when it rained, the water was in there above the seats,” Dudley said. “So you have to pump it out and it’s a mess.”

The other notable problem with the current dugouts is the size.

During the annual Pack the Park event put on for CSU-Pueblo baseball, Dudley noticed the dugouts aren’t big enough to hold the college teams.

“The dugouts are better than most places, but when we have Pack the Park night and I see the college team out here, they can’t all fit in the dugout,” Dudley said. “They’re sitting on buckets outside the dugout and of course the umpires don’t like that.

“There will be no reason that should be happening (following construction) and we’ll probably have to do the same at Andenucio (Field) at some point.”

As for the backstop fence, the edges have begun to curl both on the top and the bottom of the chains, showing the wear and tear that spring and summer ball has put on it.

Instead of putting in more metal, netting will take place and it will stretch farther down the baselines than the current fence, giving more protection to fans from line-drive foul balls.

The price tag for the project has yet to be finalized with the jobs still out for bid, but Dudley estimates the cost to be around $150,000.

Funding for the project comes from a Runyon savings account that Dudley and the county have been keeping up, along with a $20,000 grant from The El Pomar Foundation.

“The poles are a huge cost,” Dudley said. “The transporting of those things out here and all, it’s a pretty big expense.”

The last major renovation project on Hobbs Field came 20 years ago in 1999 when the outfield fence was replaced, which also came with a new clubhouse/museum on the property as well.

The turnaround from the season to construction will be short with plenty of baseball still left to be played on Hobbs Field.

Hobbs will host league championships this weekend, followed by the Stan Musial World Series taking place July 18-24.

The final games of the summer on Hobbs Field will be July 26 when the Pueblo Azteca 18U and 17U teams will matchup for a doubleheader, times still to be determined.

Chieftain sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at awhite@chieftain.com or on Twitter @ajwrules44.

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