The dugouts premiered at the Little League opening ceremonies on March 9

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero Little League premiered its brand new dugouts at the annual Little League Opening Day Ceremony on Saturday, March 9, at Paloma Creek Park. The donors, contributors, and volunteers who helped bring the much-needed updated dugouts to the Atascadero baseball community were honored at the ceremony.

“Last summer, I said, ‘Let’s see if we can make this work.’ So I started talking with the rest of our board members and saying, ‘Hey, we’ve seen what other leagues’ dugouts look like. I think we should have the same thing. We have a great league, let’s see what we can do,'” said Anton Kaul, president of Atascadero Little League. 


Kaul said that the idea for new dugouts started bubbling around in his head a couple of years ago and that, as far as he knows, the small chain link dugouts hadn’t been upgraded since the early 1990s and that now seemed like a good time for an upgrade.

“Immediately, people jumped in,” Kaul said. “So, we got an architect to donate his time to create the plans. We got Roatary to donate funds. We got local builders to do the construction or at least parts of the construction. And then volunteers to chip in also. It came together, and it’s really heartwarming. It’s fun to see a whole community come together and make it a reality.” 

Not only were funds donated by the Rotary Club and City Councilmember Charles Bourbeau, but many other members of the community donated time, labor, and materials to make the new dugouts a reality. David Main helped from an architectural perspective, Cal Coast Construction did the framing, Jeff Miller Concrete and Peterson U-Cart donated the concrete, the demolition of the old dugouts and roofing was donated by MBDC, with paint donated by DHR Painting, and all lumber provided by Weyrick Lumber. On top of that, baseball and Little League lovers volunteered with labor throughout the construction process.

“The companies were willing to donate and combine that with the labor costs. I don’t have the actual figures, but it’s just sort of awe-inspiring that people are willing to do that,” Kaul said. “I’m sort of sheepish when it comes to asking for donations. I’m not very good at that. But when people heard about it, even though I said we’ll pay you, they said no, we’re happy to do this for Little League. I didn’t realize how much goodwill there really is towards Little League as an organization and how willing people are.”

The City of Atascadero was also involved in the process, as the new dugouts are on city land. Kaul worked closely with Public Works Director Nick DeBar to make sure that Atascadero Little League followed city building codes in their build and that everything was above board.

“He helped us streamline the approval process,” said Kaul of DeBar’s help.

It’s roughly estimated that the complete project, including labor would have cost Atascadero Little League close to $40,000, but with the community stepping in in such a big way, less than $5,000 came out of the group’s pockets. Kaul also added that local lawyer Daniel Knight also donated funds for the dugouts, supports local sports organizations, and has always been a supporter of Little League. Knight was one of the people who made sure the project came together and kept everyone on task.

“Every day, different people were involved. It’s been a fun project that just came together in exactly the way I was hoping,” added Kaul. “It’s about getting baseball for the kids and making sure that every kid has the opportunity to play baseball and to have top-notch facilities when we can. So, it’s a big step forward.”

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Featured Image

With the help of the community, Atascadero Little League was able to build new dugouts at Paloma Creek Park. Photo by Rick Evans.