Mike Miller makes Flynn Field look sharp
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
Mike Miller has been taking care of Madison's Flynn Field for about 11 years -- mowing the grass, spraying the weeds and edging to make the baseball diamond look as sharp as any field in the area.|
"I started doing this when I was coaching American Legion Baseball in 2000," said Miller. "I took off a couple of years (2003 and 2004) before starting again in 2005 when Brian (his youngest son) started playing Legion Baseball."
Miller wanted to make sure the players had a nice field to play on and which would make them proud.
"The city mowed it but they did not mow the grass short enough," Miller said.
That's when Miller started grooming the baseball field.
He usually mows the grass twice a week, which takes him about two hours per cutting. Besides the mowing, Miller will edge and spray the field for weeds.
"It is not hard work," he said, adding that he mows at home but is not a gardener.
Miller has learned to groom a baseball field by talking to the person in charge of the duties at the Bird Cage in Sioux Falls and by trial and error.
While Miller was in charge of the American Legion Baseball program, he also raised money for such things as a sprinkler system, new lights and helping put up a new outfield fence.
"We started work on the new fence after the baseball season in 1999 and completed it in May 2000 just before the Legion Baseball season," he said.
Besides grooming the field and having it in remarkable shape for each contest played, Miller keeps the scorebook, runs the scoreboard and tells announcer Keith Bundy what happens during the home games.
Miller, who played on Flynn Field as a Dakota State University Trojan and later as a Madison Bronco, knows the field is in better shape than ever.
"The field was not in as good shape as it is now," he said.
When the different teams play on Flynn Field, the players are supposed to rake the base lines and around the pitcher's mound and home plate; drag the infield; and place a tarp over the pitcher's mound and home plate after each contest.
Miller volunteers many hours to making Flynn Field one of the sharpest looking fields in the Cornbelt League.