Managers in the Pecos League voted the “Tundra” as worst baseball field in the league last year, beating Santa Fe’s notorious Fort Marcy Park for the unwanted title.
At the start of season the field was in much better shape than it was last year. The baseball field at Taos High School also got a serious upgrade this year with installation of high-powered lights, enabling it to host night games. Everybody from the high school, the Blizzard and the local men’s baseball league has had nothing but good things to say about the lights.
The installation of the lights, however, has had some side affects. When Prime Electric was installing the lights, it broke a pipe in the field’s irrigation system so it was without water for a while. Since the original contractor who built the field didn’t leave as-built drawings, the school district wasn’t able to provide Prime Electric with a map of the irrigation system and it ended up having to split the cost of the repair with them.
The repairs, however, didn’t take and the baseball field was without water for a few more weeks recently.
THS head coach Marc Montoya and Blizzard coach Chris Tuttle both said that they had been watering the field with a 100-foot hose to keep it from dying.
As of Tuesday (June 16), however, the sprinkler heads in the outfield were working again.
The bigger problem, however, seems to be that nobody is in charge of the facility.
With Taos High’s athletic director Nickie McCarty still on paid administrative leave (for unknown reasons) there’s no point-person anymore. Everybody is kind of in charge of the field, but at times it has seemed like no one is responsible for it.
Coach Montoya, who was recently accepted into the University of New Mexico’s law school and might not be here next year, is the only person besides McCarty who has a code to turn the lights on. There’s an override switch in the electrical room, but Musco Lighting said it’s better that they handle the operation of the lights. So Montoya has been calling the company and giving them the code to turn them on for the Blizzard games.
The timing, however, has had a few glitches. One time when the Blizzard went into extra innings, the timer on the lights expired and the game was delayed in the 10th inning. A different time the lights were on well after midnight, even though there was no order for them to be on.
Without a point person to direct questions to, however, any problems with the field and the lights are just kind of hanging out in limbo.
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