The Township Council is most pleased to announce that Medford has been awarded a $200,000 grant under the Burlington County Municipal Park Development Grant program to undertake renovations and upgrades to Bunning Baseball Field, located on Mill Street.
Said Mayor Chuck Watson, a lifelong resident of Medford “ the Bunning Baseball Field has a long and storied history in Medford, beginning with its construction by residents (along with Medford Park) in the early 1900’s. It isreported that baseball players such as Cy Young played there back in the 1930’s and 1940’s on semipro adult baseball teams. More recently, MLB All-Star Mike Trout played there as a teen with a South Jersey stars travel team in the early 2000s.”
The grandstands are original to Bunning Field, estimated to have been built early in the 1900’s. The Township is in possession of photos dated 1904 showing the grandstands, with tree trunks used as posts. Regrettably, the grandstands had to be torn down earlier this year due to deterioration of the wood. However, as stated by Deputy Mayor Brad Denn, “Given their history, they will be re-built to maintain their 1900’s architectural and historical style, but will be constructed in accordance with current construction and handicapped accessibility codes.”
At the present, this field services the Memorial Middle School baseball teams; along with several other youth and adult independent baseball and softball leagues. The MYAA baseball program will also benefit from the refurbished major league size field.
In 2015 the Township Council approved an agreement with the Medford Vincentown Rotary Club to help restore the grandstands and the surrounding Medford Park. The Rotary Club is committed to partnering with Township officials, such as offering the professional services of its members for architectural drawings, construction, etc.
The County grant will allow for the installation of a new wooden fence in the outfield to replicate the original fence early 1900s; additional perimeter fencing, a new backstop, dugouts and batting cage a new irrigation system, the entire field re-sodded, and the Bunning Field sign will be restored. New signs for Medford Park will also be installed.
In addition, given the anticipated increased usage of Bunning Field, the adjoining Medford Park parking lot areas would be redesigned and re-constructed to maximize parking, and the existing pavillion and comfort station in Medford Park would be refurbished.
Should funding for these improvements exceed the County grants funds, the Medford-Vincentown Rotary has committed to help seek additional funding and sponsorships.
Work is expected to commence in the spring of 2018.
For more information or to be involved in this project, please contact Beth Portocalis of the Township Manager's office at email@example.com or by calling 609-654-2608 x324.
**Check out our official Facebook page for some of the old-time photos taken at Bunning Field**