Muzzy Field Grass to Remain Natural
By JACKIE MAJERUS, Bristol Press

Muzzy Field Historic Muzzy Field will not be converted to synthetic grass, the city parks chief said.

Superintendent Ed Swicklas said parks officials are reviewing other possible sites for artificial turf.

"It definitely won't happen at Muzzy," said Swicklas.

Swicklas said while it may make sense to cover other fields in town with artificial turf, it wouldn't make sense at the old minor league ballpark. "It's just not the spot for it," said Swicklas.

The best place for artificial turf, according to Swicklas, is somewhere that will be used many hours of the day, for practices and games.

Muzzy isn't used that way, Swicklas said.

The historic ballpark off Rockwell Park has different rules for use, Swicklas said, and is primarily used for games. It isn't generally open for anyone to play on.

"It's not really a practice facility," said Swicklas. "It's a game facility." The ideal is to get 15 to 18 hours of use every day from an artificial field, said Swicklas.

"It'd be better off at a school," said Swicklas, or on an open field at someplace like Page Park.

Converting the field where Babe Ruth and other baseball greats once played into fake grass didn't sit well with some baseball buffs here.

At best, the proposal - put forth months ago by the city's Parks Revitalization Committee - was controversial.

Some supported the idea, while others said they'd like to see an artificial field in town, but not at Muzzy.

Officials supporting an artificial field said the surface is playable all the time, even in heavy rain and is safer for athletes. It is easy to maintain, they said, and would save money in the long run.

An artificial field at Muzzy would have cost about $800,000, parks officials have said.

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