Winter Woes at Shaw Park Fish Caught in Snow-Bind

By Martin, Melissa | Winnipeg Free Press, April 17, 2013 | Go to article overview
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Winter Woes at Shaw Park Fish Caught in Snow-Bind

Martin, Melissa, Winnipeg Free Press

Club needs better conditions to stage training camp on home field

Can't blame any Winnipegger who's feeling morose about the latest dump of snow, but Don Ferguson has more reason than most.

He has to worry about an entire baseball field that just got buried -- and with the Winnipeg Goldeyes training camp slated to open on May 4, Shaw Park is running out of time for the white stuff to go.

"I just can't believe it anymore," said Ferguson, the Goldeyes head groundskeeper. "I give up. We take one step ahead and three back, that's how this season has been going."

With only a few weeks left until the boys of summer are set to come and play, Shaw Park is still covered by several feet of sticky snow. Ferguson, who has been with the Goldeyes since their inception, said they've never seen snow cover this late in the off-season. It's always gone by now -- other than the occasional late April or May snowstorm that melts quickly.

Last weekend, Ferguson and his team had finished cleaning up the snow with a Bobcat, and were pleased to see grass. Now the fresh dump is pushing their preparations back. It's not just that the snow needs to be gone, but also that the field needs time to dry after it melts. The 28 drains around the park's perimeter will help, but wind and sun do the lion's share of the work.

"Right now, Mother Nature's not co-operating with us very well at all," Ferguson said. "I can't look at the forecast anymore, it doesn't help me much... it's a very depressing year. I don't know how we're going to make it work."

That's the question Goldeyes general manager Andrew Collier is wrestling with now, as he prepares contingency plans if the cold snap keeps up.

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