ADDISON | The pitch. The crack of the bat, and a soaring homer that shatters the right field lights and sends showers of sparks onto the field, as Randy Newman’s iconic score rises in the background.
Players in Addison Youth Baseball and Cinderella Softball may never hit a homer like Roy Hobbs in “The Natural” -- and God willing, they won’t break the lights.
They took a lot of work to install.
A few years ago, the Addison Central School District upgraded the lights at its soccer field.
The old lights might have been trashed and recycled -- but Addison Mayor Ray Walch and school Superintendent Joe DioGuardi came together with a plan.
The district donated the old lights with the plan of putting them up at the youth baseball and Cinderella softball fields.
All they needed was planning and a lot of help.
Andrew Knowles with Addison Youth Baseball said it took some time for all the elements to come together.
Work started early this spring.
Alan Neally, one of the founders of Corning’s Neally-DeJong Construction, offered to put up the poles for the lights.
But then came the most complex part.
“We were trying to figure out who could do the wiring for us,” Knowles said.
They were approached by Addison electronics manufacturer FICS (Fundamental Instrumentation and Control Solutions), who offered to do the electrical work necessary to get the lights running.
“That’s thousands of dollars,” Walch said. “They installed all the panel boxes and the wiring.”
“Armstrong dug in the conduits,” Knowles added. The conduit itself was provided by ID Booth.
Then it was time to put up the lights themselves.
“Duke Equipment donated an aerial boom lift,” Knowles said, and he, along with Steve Boyer of FICS, got the lights put up at both fields in a few days.
“Everything has been free so far” in terms of labor, Walch said. “People just jumped on board.”
Since the installation was completed, more than a dozen night games have been played at the two fields.
“It’s like daylight over there at night,” Walch said.
“It’s awesome,” Knowles said. “Baseball is a game played at night around the world.”
They’ll be taking advantage of those lights even more come July, with three All-Star tournaments planned.
A 10U tourney will be played from July 5-8, a 12U tournament from July 12-15, and an 8U tournament from July 19-22, Knowles said.
“Without Ray, it would have never even happened,” he said. “I just kind of took it and ran with it.”